Federal Court Dismisses Lawsuit against California Pharmaceutical Transparency Law

This week, the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of California dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) against California’s SB 17 which was signed into law last year. Recall, SB 17, authored by Senator Ed Hernandez, requires health plans and insurers to report to the State cost information on covered prescription drugs plans and insurers dispense or provide to their enrollees. Drug manufacturers are also required to notify the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) when wholesale acquisition costs of prescription drugs increase or when the cost exceeds a specified threshold.

In its lawsuit, PhRMA argued that the wholesale acquisition cost increase notification requirement to the State was unconstitutional and sought a permanent injunction against Governor Brown and OSHPD. The Court, however, ruled against PhRMA on the grounds that the governor has limited immunity in his official capacity and that PhRMA has not been injured or does not face imminent injury. The Court did grant the opportunity for PhRMA to amend its suit and file again for consideration. A statement on the matter from Senator Ed Hernandez is available here.