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Major Rollback of Pharmaceutical Bench Mark Prices Approved by Federal Court of Appeals, Hagens Berman Announces
Date:9/10/2009

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On June 6, 2007, HBSS settled claims with FDB, a subsidiary of Hearst Corporation. Under the agreement, FDB agreed to rollback pricing by five basis points, from 1.25 to 1.20. The markup over WAC was used to calculate the AWP, the reimbursement benchmark for most widely used prescription drugs, which, in turn, would reduce the price of most medications by four percent. In a later lawsuit, the other large supplier of electronic data files, Medi-Span, agreed to a similar rollback.

First DataBank and Medi-Span have indicated that in addition to the drugs included in the settlement, they also intend to independently rollback the AWP benchmark price of other drugs not covered by the settlement, which should create cost-savings on a much broader range of prescription medications.

An alphabet soup of associations representing the pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers fought the proposed rollback before federal trial and appellate courts. The National Association of Chain Drugstores, the Pharmaceutical Management Association, the National Community of Pharmacists Association, and others claimed either that small pharmacies would be put out of business through implementation of the rollback, or that the savings to the health plans and consumers would not be large enough to justify the settlement.

The courts rejected these claims and in a ruling on Sept. 4, 2009, affirmed the approval of the settlement. The First Circuit Court of Appeals stated:

                "In principle, the rollback makes some sense:  it
                should -- to the extent that process remain above
                some hypothetical market level -- wash out any
                remaining inflation for the future; and, to the
                extent it forces prices temporarily below the market
                level, it will take back some of the windfall profits
                obtained (even if 
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SOURCE Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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