Indiana Senior Group Files Suit Against Nine Pharmaceutical Companies for Alleged Antitrust Violations
United Senior Action of Indiana on Thursday filed a federal class-action lawsuit against nine pharmaceutical companies for an alleged conspiracy that began in 2002 to block the sale of prescription drugs from Canadian wholesalers and pharmacies to U.S. residents in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Indianapolis Star reports. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, names Eli Lilly, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck, Novartis and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals as defendants. According to the lawsuit, in meetings of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies in Canada, the companies imposed "terms of trade" that prevented the sale, transfer or distribution of their products to individuals who would take the medications out of Canada. The lawsuit also alleges that the companies threatened to limit or end supplies to Canadian wholesalers and pharmacies that sold medications to U.S. residents. The Minnesota Senior Federation filed a similar lawsuit last month. Lilly spokesperson Ed Sagebiel said that the company had no comment on the USA lawsuit. Bill Kane, an attorney for both USA and MSF, said that he expects groups from other states to file similar lawsuits in the future (Heikens, Indianapolis Star, 6/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.