ASTRA USA v. SANTA CLARA COUNTY

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
09-1273
Petitioner 
Astra USA
Respondent 
Santa Clara County, Calif.
Decided By 
Advocates
(for the petitioners)
(Assistant to the Solicitor General, Department of Justice, as amicus curiae, supporting the petitioners)
(for the respondents)
Term:
Facts of the Case 

In 2005, Santa Clara County, Calif., filed a class-action lawsuit based on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports, alleging that pharmaceutical companies have systemically overcharged hospitals and clinics, making them pay millions of dollars more than necessary for prescription drugs. The Inspector General's report also argued that the government is ill- equipped to ensure that clinics are being charged correctly. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed the case, but in March 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned the decision.

Question 

Can health care providers sue drug makers for overcharging public hospitals for prescription drugs?

Conclusion 
Decision: 8 votes for Astra, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Public Health Services Act

No. The Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that health care providers cannot sue drug makers for overcharging public hospitals for prescription drugs. Justice Elena Kagan did not take part in consideration of the case.

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ASTRA USA v. SANTA CLARA COUNTY . The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 23 October 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2010/2010_09_1273>.
ASTRA USA v. SANTA CLARA COUNTY , The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2010/2010_09_1273 (last visited October 23, 2014).
"ASTRA USA v. SANTA CLARA COUNTY ," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed October 23, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2010/2010_09_1273.