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High Court Kills County's Drug Price Class Action

Law360 (March 29, 2011, 1:15 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a California county cannot sue nine drug companies for allegedly violating a pricing agreement with the federal government by overcharging clinics serving the poor, finding that only the U.S. can enforce those agreements.

In an 8-0 opinion from which Justice Elena Kagan recused herself, the Supreme Court reversed an appeals court’s decision that allowed Santa Clara County to file the putative class action against the drug companies as third-party beneficiaries of the pricing agreement.

The county claims AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals...
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