CVS Class Needs Plaintiffs From 38 More States

OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) — Customers who claim CVS overcharges for generic drugs need plaintiffs from 38 more states to proceed as a nationwide class action, a federal judge ruled.
U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers on Friday dismissed without prejudice most state law claims in the lawsuit filed by lead plaintiff Christopher Corcoran in August 2015.
Corcoran claimed that CVS charged insured customers and their insurers up to four times as much for generic drugs than it charged uninsured patients. Though CVS called it a Health Savings Pass, the pharmacy chain demanded higher co-pays from insured customers and submitted inflated prices to insurers, according to the original complaint.
Judge Rogers rejected CVS’ attempt to dismiss the case in March.
But on Friday Rogers found the named plaintiffs resided in and alleged injuries in only 12 states and Washington, D.C., and so could not allege injuries in 38 other jurisdictions.
“In these circumstances, plaintiffs should be required to have named plaintiffs with standing to prosecute claims under the laws of those thirty-eight states,” Rogers wrote. “Further, it remains to be seen the extent to which a nationwide class could be certified given the allegations.”
Rogers rejected CVS’s motion to dismiss Texas state law claims, finding two new plaintiffs from Texas adequately alleged that CVS duped them into paying higher prices, in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
With 7,866 U.S. outlets, CVS is the nation’s largest purchaser of drugs. It fills or manages more than 1 billion prescriptions a year, nearly a third of the nation’s prescriptions, according to the original complaint.
CVS reported net revenue of $139.4 billion in 2014, with $67 billion coming from its retail pharmacy business.
The plaintiffs seek an injunction, disgorgement and damages.
Class attorney Elizabeth Pritzker of Pritzker Levine in Oakland did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Monday.
CVS attorney Ashley Hardin of Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C., declined to comment.

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