The FDA’s premarket review mechanisms for class II medical devices may strike some as little more than so much regulatory esoterica, and several courts have ruled that information about the 510(k) process is inadmissible during jury trials due to the possibility of sowing confusion among jurors. An appellate court in New Jersey has ruled that such an exclusion of evidence is prejudicial in a case involving surgical mesh manufactured by two device companies, however, opening a larger debate about the propriety of such exclusions in product liability litigation for medical devices.
The so-called pharma bro Martin Shkreli’s trials are far from over. The former hedge fund manager, biopharma CEO and now convicted felon is facing a class action lawsuit led by Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit grappled with whether so-called patent thickets and certain global patent settlements constitute antitrust behavior as it heard arguments Feb. 25 in UFCW Local 1500 Welfare Fund v. Abbvie Inc.
The Washington Legal Foundation’s (WLF) webinar on False Claims Act (FCA) litigation highlighted several developments in case law, including that non-relator FCA cases were up significantly in fiscal year 2020. However, Jay Stephens, an attorney with Kirkland & Ellis LLP, noted that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has taken aim yet again at the materiality standard for false claims as spelled out in the Supreme Court’s Escobar, a move which if successful could amplify the federal enforcement focus on life science companies.
The Medicare Part D rebate rule finalized by the Trump administration last November could be in limbo for a while. As it did with other so-called midnight rules issued in the waning days of the Trump presidency, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under the Biden administration, is postponing the implementation of the rule, which was intended to simplify the U.S. drug pricing system by eliminating the rebates drug makers pay to pharmacy benefit managers for formulary placement or requiring plans to pass the discounts directly to patients.
Life science companies doing business during a pandemic may believe that patients, judges and juries will look kindly on products that don’t perform as promised, but that may be an empty wish. Angela Seaton, an attorney with the D.C. office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, advised that companies that want to break into new markets because of pandemic-specific demand should do their homework, including a review of U.S. FDA warning letters.
Ongoing litigation between rivals Edwards Lifesciences Corp. and Abbott Laboratories is over, with the two settling all outstanding patent disputes in cases related to transcatheter mitral and tricuspid repair products. Details of the settlement remain confidential.
The U.S. FDA’s enforcement regarding products related to the COVID-19 pandemic has picked up steam recently, but the U.S. Federal trade commission (FTC) is also involved in this enforcement arena. Leonard Gordon, a partner at Venable LLP’s New York office, told BioWorld that while the FTC and FDA missions seem to overlap, the FTC primarily targets unsupportable advertising claims rather than product labeling, a particularly relevant area in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We look forward to the day where we can get back to normal,” U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday at a COVID-19 news conference in which reporters sat every-other-seat apart. In an unusually somber tone, the president said it now looks like it will be at least July or August before the outbreak “washes through.”