McGraw's drug-pricing case will go on during appeal

By John O'Brien | Aug 17, 2011


RICHMOND, Va. (Legal Newsline) -- West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw's drug-pricing case against six pharmacies will continue in state court following a federal appeals court's decision not to issue a stay on its recent decision.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Tuesday denied the drug stores' motion to stay a ruling that said McGraw had not filed a class action lawsuit against them. The stores wanted a stay against the judgment while they appealed it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Through private attorneys hired to represent his office, McGraw had fought the stay in a response filed Aug. 4.

"The State filed this action two years ago, and the pharmacies' unwarranted removal has caused enough delay," the attorneys wrote. "The brief 60-day timeframe that Congress allocated for the appeal of a remand of a putative class action has been stretched beyond recognition. There is no more reason for delay."

The case alleges six drug stores - Wal-Mart, CVS, Kmart, Kroger, Target and Walgreen -- did not pass savings on generic drugs to consumers. The drug stores have been arguing that McGraw's case is essentially a class action and should be heard in federal court.

However, a 2-1 vote by a panel of judges from the Fourth Circuit went McGraw's way. No other member of the Fourth Circuit expressed an interest to have the case heard before the entire court, and the drug stores have decided to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. A preliminary stay was issued while the Fourth Circuit decided if it would lengthen it.

Read the full story at Legal Newsline.

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