Washington, D.C., Drug Price Law To Take Effect Next Week
A Washington, D.C., law that aims to regulate prescription drug costs by allowing residents to file lawsuits against drug companies over their pricing will take effect next week despite lawsuits challenging the regulation, the Washington Examiner reports.
The legislation, sponsored by D.C. Council member David Catania, would allow residents to file suit against a drug company if a judge determines the drug's cost to be excessive, which is defined in the law as more than 30% of the drug's price in Germany, Australia, Canada or the United Kingdom. Companies found to charge excessive prices could be fined or forced to lower their prices (Neibauer, Washington Examiner, 12/12).
Mayor Anthony Williams signed the measure into law on Oct. 3 after the council approved it in September (California Healthline, 11/1).
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court alleging the law will decrease drug supplies, limit development of new drugs and lead to excessive lawsuits. The Biotechnology Industry Organization filed a similar suit, and the cases have been consolidated.
The D.C. government responded to the suits by filing a motion arguing that PhRMA has no basis to sue. A ruling is expected this month.
Meanwhile, Catania said he is not aware of any individuals or groups who plan to immediately file suits against drug companies under the new law (Washington Examiner, 12/12).