A federal court in the nation's capitalstruck down a controversial District ofColumbia (DC) law aimed at loweringprescription drug costs for the city's residents.The statute, passed by the citycouncil late last year, allowed DC residentsto file suit against a drug companyif a judge determines the drug's cost tobe "excessive."
Under the law, an excessive price isone that is at least 30% higher than thedrug's price in Germany, Australia,Canada, or the United Kingdom. Drugcompanies found to charge excessiveprices could be fined or forced to lowertheir prices under the law.
The statute drew a legal challengefrom officials of the PharmaceuticalResearch and Manufacturers of America(PhRMA), which called it "damaging andunconstitutional."
"Residents of the District of Columbia,as well as Americans everywhere,count on prescription medicines to protecttheir health, improve their qualityof life, and, in many instances, keepthem alive,"said Billy Tauzin, presidentand chief executive officer of PhRMA.The federal court's ruling to overturnthe law "protects both patients and thequality health care we enjoy in thiscountry."