Merck Can't Arbitrate Antitrust Suit Over Vaccine Bundles

Law360 (January 23, 2019, 9:22 PM EST) -- Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. cannot force each individual in a proposed class action to arbitrate claims that its pediatric vaccine bundles with alleged artificially inflated price tags are anti-competitive, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Tuesday, finding that the plaintiffs never signed arbitration agreements.

U.S. District Judge J. Curtis Joyner found that just because Merck had contracts containing arbitration clauses with three physician buying groups doesn't mean the pediatric medical practices bringing the action were signatories to those contracts when they bought rotavirus vaccines bundled with other common childhood vaccines through those groups, according to the order filed Wednesday.

"'[B]ecause arbitration...

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