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On March 29, 2011, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Astra USA v. Santa Clara County. The question in this case was whether health care providers, due to their status as a third-party beneficiary, could sue drug manufacturers for not following price limitations set by contracts between the manufacturers and the federal government.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Ginsburg, the Court held by an 8-0 vote that health care providers may not bring suits against drug manufacturers to enforce ceiling-price contracts between drug manufacturers and the federal government. Justice Kagan took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
To discuss the case, we have Jeffrey S. Bucholtz, who is a partner in the Appellate Practice Group at King & Spalding. Mr. Bucholtz was on an amicus brief in support of the petitioners.