PHARMACY

Suit vs. big drug wholesaler can go forward, judge rules

BY Jim Frederick

NEW YORK A class-action suit against McKesson Corp. can go forward, a federal judge has ruled, allowing consumers in the suit to pursue claims that the health care service and drug distribution giant engaged in a pricing fraud.

According to a report from the Reuters news agency, U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris certified the suit after concluding that the plaintiffs in the case had a “persuasive argument” in alleging that McKesson and First Databank together set an artificially high average wholesale price for drugs reimbursed by Medicaid and private insurers. Among the plaintiff class are consumers who made co-payments on branded prescription drugs between 2001 and 2005, according to the report.

McKesson does not comment on pending litigation.

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Lilly, Takeda terminate contract

BY Drew Buono

JAPAN Eli Lilly Japan and Takeda Pharmaceuticals have terminated an agreement to co-develop and co-market ruboxistaurin mesylate.

Ruboxistaurin mesylate is used to treat diabetic macular edema and diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The companies said that after looking at the overall results, the trials did not meet the criteria for Phase III studies and therefore they have agreed to terminate the contract.

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Patent office announces final rule on claims

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a new rule that will change how many claims patent applications may contain, as well as how many continuing applications applicants may file.

The new rule requires that any third or subsequent continuing application that is a continuing application or a continuation-in-part application, and any second or subsequent request for continued examination in an application family, be filed to obtain consideration of an amendment, argument, or evidence, and be supported by a showing as to why the amendment, argument, or evidence sought to be entered could not have been previously submitted.

The revised rules also require an applicant to file an examination support document that covers all of the claims in an application if the application contains more than five independent claims or more than twenty-five total claims.

The new rule will go into effect on Nov. 1.

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