Drug Companies Mantra, "Deny and Delay."posted Fri, 10 Sep 2010
The pharmaceutical industry fixes prices, prevents reimportation, and restricts competition from generics. When called on it, they deny the charges, admit nothing, and delay by raising specious, or empty, legal arguments.
A group of 17 Pharmacies, all located in California, have filed a lawsuit against 20 of our nation's largest pharmaceutical companies. In the lawsuit, Clayworth v. Pfizer, they say that the drug companies have violated California antitrust laws by conspiring to: set artificially high prices for their name brand drugs; prevent lower-priced drugs sold in other countries from being re-imported into the United States; and restrict price competition from generics.
Get this; their defense is that they didn't do anything wrong, because the high costs were passed on to you, the public! Last month the California Supreme Court ruled that this was no excuse. In plain language, the court said that the pharmaceutical companies are wrong--that the pharmacies can ask the companies to stop these practices even if they do not seek reimbursement. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the Superior Court for a possible trial.
This case is one of many similar cases across the country, and illustrates how the pharmaceutical industry has employed a strategy of deny and delay. Deny the charges, admit nothing, and delay by raising specious, or empty, legal arguments. By using this strategy they have been able to stall this case for six years. To date, the allegations of collusion to fix prices, prevent re-importation, and restrict competition from generics have not been addressed. The industry, as individual companies or through their lobbyist group PhRMA, has consistently employed these methods in virtually every court challenge they've faced. It will be interesting to see what strategy they devise now that the case has been referred back to the Superior Court, where the "same old-same old" just won't work anymore!.