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CEO DATELINE – Generic drug group wins court battle over price-gouging law

Feb. 19, 2019
By Walt Williams

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The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review a lower court ruling striking down a Maryland law meant to prevent pharmaceutical companies from gouging customers on price, handing a legal victory to a trade group representing generic drug manufacturers. 

Maryland lawmakers passed legislation in 2017 preventing “unconscionable” price increases for generic drugs and medicines no longer covered by patents, Fox Business reported. The Association for Accessible Medicines challenged the law as unconstitutional, arguing its language was vague in what constituted price gouging.

A federal appeals court sided with AAM last year in a 2-1 ruling. Maryland State Attorney General Brian Frosh appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, but the justices rejected the request Tuesday.

AAM issued a statement about the court’s decision calling it "a victory for patients who depend on a strong national market for generic and biosimilar medicines."

“Maryland’s law would have allowed one state to dictate prices in the competitive national market for generic medicines that saved patients and taxpayers $265 billion in 2017. The Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM) and its member companies will continue to work with all stakeholders, including state legislatures that are working to address concerns related to drug pricing, to enhance access to generic and biosimilar medicines to lower prescription drug prices for Americans.”