Hagens Berman Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Nearly 50 Law Professors and Scholars in IRA Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Class-Action Lawsuits

Firm stands with the health care community, bolstering ongoing support of accessibility of lifesaving prescriptions

NEWARK, N.J. — More than four dozen members of the legal academic community signed their names to an amicus brief filed by attorneys at Hagens Berman in ongoing class-action lawsuits regarding the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Medicare and threats to accessibility of affordable lifesaving prescription medications.

The amicus brief was filed Oct. 23, 2023, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in the matters of Bristol Myers Squibb Company v. Becerra et al. and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Becerra et al. (case numbers 3:23-cv-3335-ZNQ-JBD and 3:23-cv-3818-ZNQ-JBD respectively). Attorneys at Hagens Berman say the cases may likely reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

“For more than 20 years, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro has dedicated itself to fighting unlawful behavior that bars access to lifesaving medicines and drives up the price of prescription drugs,” said Tom Sobol, managing partner of the firm’s Boston office. “We believe that it is entirely lawful under the IRA to empower federal officials to negotiate Medicare drug prices to drive down overall costs and prevent consumer harm from the unavailability of less accessible drugs.”

“Lower drug costs save lives, and the importance of access of medicine cannot be overstated,” he added. “That’s why Hagens Berman stands firmly behind the 48 law professors and scholars in their amicus brief. The health care community depends on the fierce defense of these rights, and we stand with the health care community.”

The firm’s history of taking on rising costs of prescription drugs is strengthened by its new recruits, who have been the driving force of Hagens Berman’s efforts in the IRA case against Bristol Myers Squibb and Janssen.

“The firm’s new ranks are ushering us into the future of what it means to be a relevant and effective law firm, and we are proud to help represent such an esteemed panel of the legal community,” Sobol said.

Bad Medicine

The landmark litigation against U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services challenges the constitutionality of the IRA to negotiate drug prices, according to Hagens Berman.

The firm’s amicus brief spotlights the strong and united front of law scholars who focus their teaching on intellectual property law, property law, regulatory law and health law in standing against Bristol Myers Squibb and Janssen’s contention that the IRA Medicare drug price negotiation program effectuates a taking of personal property in violation of the Fifth Amendment.

The amicus brief details the constitutionality of government price negotiations and price regulations, and the federal government’s use of patents, as well as the far-reaching consequences of a ruling in favor of BMS and Janssen.

The brief introduction states, “The most decisive driver of high drug prices are the monopoly rights that governments grant to drug makers, allowing them to exclude competitors and raise prices,” continuing on to add, “BMS and Janssen now argue that they have a constitutional right to the monopoly prices they have been charging the government. Pharmaceutical companies enjoy some of the highest profit margins in the United States—and will continue to do so even after full implementation of this program.”

“The law scholars who have chosen to take a stand against BMS and Janssen in this amicus brief have done so for one reason: already today, about three in 10 Americans cannot afford their prescription drugs. This figure is already too high, and it would only increase if BMS and Janssen had their way,” Sobol said.

Read more about the pending litigation involving the IRA and prescription drug costs.

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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman is a global plaintiffs’ rights complex litigation law firm with a tenacious drive for achieving real results for those harmed by corporate negligence and fraud. Since its founding in 1993, the firm’s determination has earned it numerous national accolades, awards and titles of “Most Feared Plaintiff’s Firm,” MVPs and Trailblazers of class-action law. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.

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