In the Press
June 6, 2023

Merck Accuses US of ‘Extortion’ in Lawsuit Against Drug Price Controls (Financial Times)

Merck has sued the US over a law that hands the federal government the power to negotiate prices for some of the most expensive drugs, arguing that key parts of the legislation are unconstitutional and “tantamount to extortion”. Matt Wetzel, Life Sciences Regulatory & Compliance partner, said Merck’s lawsuit highlighted the “coercive elements” of the drug pricing reforms, which included significant restrictions on drugmakers’ ability to appeal CMS decisions and the lack of a genuine negotiation. This may be looked at sympathetically by US courts, he said to Financial Times. “One question, however, is whether a court will find that a company has been harmed yet or injured yet as a result of the IRA’s provisions — or whether that harm or injury will not actually occur until September 1 of this year when the first 10 drugs are selected for the programme,” he said.