Magazine article Drug Topics

No Settlement: Chains Stay the Course on Discriminatory Pricing Lawsuit

Magazine article Drug Topics

No Settlement: Chains Stay the Course on Discriminatory Pricing Lawsuit

Article excerpt

Chains stay the course on discriminatory pricing lawsuit

While attorneys for independent pharmacy owners have reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement with several major drug manufacturers, chain drugstores are preparing to go to trial with their own discriminatory pricing lawsuit.

Ten drugstore chains and 10 Minnesota independent pharmacies that filed an antitrust lawsuit in 1993 are apparently prepared to duke it out in court in a couple of months in Chicago. While treble monetary damages could be awarded if the plaintiffs win their case, the larger goal for community pharmacy is to obtain a permanent injunction prohibiting discriminatory pricing by drug manufacturers in the future.

"We have not settled with anyone," said Steve Shadowen, lead attorney in the chains' lawsuit. "There have been overtures for a settlement from the defendants. We are continuing to talk, but it becomes difficult when you're talking about changing the rules of the game going forward. It's a lot easier when it's just about money. Here we have the money plus agreeing what the rules are going to be."

If the plaintiffs are successful in obtaining an injunction, the ruling would apply just to the defendant drug manufacturers, said Shadowen, who is with the Philadelphia law firm of Schnader, Harrison, Segal, and Lewis. …

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