California to sue over drug prices
California plans to sue the Food and Drug Administration for $2 billion in damages over its alleged price hikes in a case that could force the agency to revise its policies.
The suit filed Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco seeks an injunction against the FDA and the state’s Board of Pharmacy to force the administration to stop price increases on many drugs, including many used in medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and to allow doctors to prescribe the drugs for their patients without charge.
The lawsuit filed by the California Medical Association and the California Nurses Association also says the agency violated state law by refusing to allow some medications to be made available through a national marketplace to the public.
The FDA has said its price hikes are justified because they’re needed to protect public health and to protect the safety of patients.
A federal judge last year upheld that ruling.
The agency has said the costs of covering those costs are borne by the government and not by the drugmakers.
The state’s lawsuit is a response to a complaint filed in October by the state of California.
The suit was also filed by attorneys general from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island, as well as California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
California Health Care Quality Act”The Board of Directors of the Board of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Inc. and the members of the California Pharmaceutical Product Council have made decisions regarding the pricing and availability of prescription drugs, but the board has no authority to act in the capacity of the federal government,” said an emailed statement from Becerras office.
“The board is an independent agency that is not bound by federal laws or regulations,” the statement said.
California’s lawsuit was filed after FDA Commissioner Julie Osterman testified to Congress in October that the agency had decided to stop providing the drugs to the general public because of rising costs.
Ostermacher said the FDA is still planning to release data on drug prices in 2019, but declined to say when the data would be released.