High Court To Consider Whether Drug Company Deals Restrain Trade
Philadelphia Inquirer: Case Pits Generic Drug Makers Against Insurers, Stores
Generic drugs have dramatically changed the pharmaceutical and health-care landscape in the last 25 years and now account for about 80 percent of prescriptions in the United States, with lower prices for consumers and insurers. But a U.S. Supreme Court case scheduled for argument March 25 pits drug companies, generic and branded, against government officials who argue that prices for consumers would be even lower if those companies did not strike deals to restrain trade. Drugstore chains and health insurers back the government's side. Trying to buttress his case, Ralph Neas, president of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday that the ruling "will define how an entire industry does business." An adverse decision will hurt drugmakers, consumers, and taxpayers, who pay the drug bill through public or private insurance, he argued (Sell, 3/6).