There are over 15,000 clinics and hospitals in this country, which get their drugs for poorer patients from a government discount – drug act which was created in 1992. They spend over $6 billion, and they are supposed to get a discount of 30% to 50% off.
During the past 8 years, (that’s mostly during the Bush administration 2002 – , with some overlap into the 3rd Term of Bipartisanbamaship ) the inspector general for HHS noticed drug manufacturers were overcharging their customers, but not getting dinged for it and being motivated to be good contractors.
Ted Slafsky, executive director of Safety Net Hospitals for Pharmaceutical Access — which represents 600 hospitals in the program — said that “manufacturers have been able to overcharge covered entities with impunity.”
Santa Clara County and Santa Cruz County in California sued Astra Zeneca USA. This upset Big Pharma.
In Dec 2009, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of San Francisco ruled that clinics and hospitals could sue.
The Supreme Court is asked to rule next.
The U.S. Department of Justice, Eric Holder, Attorney General, under the Presidency of Barack Obama, is now siding with the Pharmaceutical companies to overturn that decision, and telling the Supreme Court they don’t want counties and clinics suing over drug price rip offs. Per the DOJ, only the Federal Government (not meaning Congress, I guess, but the secret deal maker- in – chief) had the authority to enforce the law.