Peter Wyckoff, executive director of the Minnesota Senior Federation’s metropolitan region office, said the lawsuit — which the organization hopes will be awarded class-action status — represents a new phase in the group’s efforts to make it easier to import drugs at lower Canadian prices.
“We have three branches of government that can change things,” he said. “This is the third.”
The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis alleges Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Merck, Novartis and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals have acted in concert to block the supply of name-brand drugs to Canadian pharmacists that sell to U.S. citizens.
GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman Nancy Pekarek said the company acted independently of the other companies, in an effort to preserve supplies of its medicines in Canada for that country.
In a statement, Pfizer said its practices comply with U.S. law and federal regulations.
“The simple truth is that the importation of pharmaceutical products into the U.S. from Canada is not only illegal, but also dangerous because it increases the opportunity to introduce counterfeit or unapproved pharmaceutical products into the market,” said the statement from spokesman Bryant Haskins.
Representatives for the remaining companies either did not immediately respond to calls for comment or said they could not respond because they had not yet seen the lawsuit.
Merck spokeswoman Anita Larsen declined to comment on the suit, but said Merck “has not announced any plans to restrict or otherwise limit the availability of our medicines in Canada.”
It was brought on behalf of the federation, which runs a program that helps its members to import from Canadian pharmacies, as well as three individual members who buy brand name drugs in the U.S. and “all others similarly situated.”
“I think they’re harmed because they have to pay a higher price here,” said attorney Marvin Miller of the Chicago-based firm Miller Faucher and Cafferty, which is handling the case.
The lawsuit seeks attorneys’ fees, 카지노사이트 unspecified damages and a stop to the companies’ anti-import efforts. It’s premised on federal antitrust laws as well as specific state consumer protection laws.
Last month, the federation held a “Pfix Pfizer” campaign that, besides the lawsuit, included congressional action, resolutions at Pfizer’s stockholders meeting, and a boycott of Pfizer’s over-the-counter products.