12/16/08 — City alleges excessive drug prices

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City alleges excessive drug prices

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on December 16, 2008 1:46 PM

The city of Goldsboro has filed an action in federal court in Massachusetts on behalf of itself and other state government entities against two pharmaceutical companies.

City officials say the companies conspired to manipulate pharmaceutical drug prices since 2001, if not before, on more than 400 brand-name prescription drugs, costing the city and other self-insured North Carolina government entities millions of dollars in excess payments.

The suit will be brought against McKesson Corp., the nation's largest drug wholesaler, and First DataBank Inc., the nation's largest publisher of electronic drug pricing data, in hopes of recovering an estimated $120,000 in overages.

City Manager Joe Huffman said the suit will likely become a national class action case, since many government entities were likely affected by the companies' alleged price manipulation.

The city action is related to a pending U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts lawsuit brought on behalf of private companies who paid for the brand-name prescriptions.

The city will be represented in this litigation by Jones, Martin, Parris & Tessener Law Offices, PLLC; Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman LLC; McCulley McCluer PLLC; and Kotchen & Low LLP.