Plaintiffs Lack Standing to Challenge Efforts to Block Prescription Drug Reimportation

The U.S. District Court for Minnesota recently dismissed claims that several pharmaceutical companies violated the antitrust laws by engaging in conduct designed to prevent the reimportation of prescription drugs from Canada, holding that the plaintiffs lacked standing.

The plaintiffs in In re Canadian Import Antitrust Litigation allege that a number of pharmaceutical companies, including Abbott and Wyeth, violated federal antitrust laws by unlawfully agreeing to engage in conduct to prevent consumers from importing prescription drugs purchased from Canadian pharmacies for personal use in the U.S. The plaintiffs claimed that,as a result of the alleged unlawful agreement, they paid higher prices for the defendants' prescription drugs than they otherwise would have paid in the absence of an agreement.

The court dismissed plaintiffs' federal antitrust claims, holding that they lacked standing to challenge the defendants' conduct under the Sherman Act. According to the court's opinion, the importation of drugs purchased in Canada is unlawful because the drugs fail to meet FDA labeling standards, and therefore not the type of activity which federal antitrust laws are designed to protect.

A copy of the opinion is available at this link.

For additional information about this Antitrust Development, please contact Toby G. Singer, leader of the Health Care Antitrust Practice.

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