Minding Your Business

Proskauer’s perspective on developments and trends in commercial litigation.

Price Gouging Laws Remain Even When Social Distancing Laws Have Ended

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently made headlines around the country by announcing that he was lifting physical distancing restrictions on restaurants and other businesses in Florida. The Governor’s order allows restaurants to open at full capacity, and prevents cities and counties from ordering them to operate at less than half capacity unless justified by health or economic reasons. Florida cities and counties are also barred from collecting fines for violations of social distancing or mask rules. But, while such actions may seem to indicate an imminent return to something resembling normalcy, or at least the end of widespread social distancing restrictions, it is important for companies to remember that price gouging laws may not follow the same path. Continue Reading

Pre-Election Drug Pricing Regulation Efforts: Where Does Congress Stand?

The regulation of drug prices has received significant recent bipartisan support in Congress. Democrats and Republicans in both houses have proposed approximately eighty bills relating to drug pricing over the past two years. The charts below summarize the key provisions of representative bills.[i]

Although the proposed price-regulating mechanisms differ from bill to bill, the bills do not indicate a clear difference in the parties’ goals when viewed at a high level. Many of the proposed bills focus on price transparency as well as reporting to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Certain bills would require pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide data on, and justifications for, the pricing of certain drugs that would exceed specified price increase limits. These bills usually include penalties for reporting failures; however, they usually do not provide a procedure to lower a price that triggers the reporting provisions. Instead, they often establish or enhance public databases for the reported information, and some go as far as requiring pharmacists to communicate this information to the patient at the point of sale. Continue Reading

Proskauer on Price Gouging: An Interactive State-by-State Price Gouging Map

Proskauer’s Antitrust Practice Group has provided clients with need-to-know information on price gouging restrictions across the country since the start of COVID-19. In light of the continuously changing landscape, Proskauer has developed an interactive state-by-state price gouging map, which provides a quick reference to current price gouging restrictions in effect in each state.

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Visit Proskauer on Price Gouging for antitrust insights on COVID-19.

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Proskauer’s cross-disciplinary, cross-jurisdictional Coronavirus Response Team is focused on supporting and addressing client concerns. Visit our Coronavirus Resource Center for guidance on risk management measures, practical steps businesses can take and resources to help manage ongoing operations.

NY Court Embraces the Law of Supply and Demand, Shows Hostility to Price Gouging Complaint

On September 23, 2020, the New York Supreme Court dismissed Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against Quality King Distributors alleging that the wholesaler unlawfully increased the price of its Lysol products. In a decision no longer than a page, Judge Eileen A. Rakower found that Quality King’s prices were neither “unconscionable or overall extreme.” Continue Reading

Orphan Drug Exclusivity for CRISPR/Cas-Based Therapeutics

The prospect of genetic engineering using CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and CRISPR-associated nucleases (Cas) has long been hailed as a “revolutionary” development in medicine.

This technology is rapidly advancing, and several CRISPR/Cas-based drugs have entered clinical trials over the past several years. One kind of product in clinical trials is CRISPR-modified cells, such as CTX001 (CRISPR-Cas9-modified autologous hematopoietic stem cells), currently under study for the treatment of b-thalassemia and severe sickle cell anemia. Another CRISPR-based product, AGN-151587, is injected into the eye with the goal of eliminating a genetic mutation in patients with Leber congenital amaurosis 10, a leading cause of childhood blindness. In parallel, others are working to harness the CRISPR/Cas system to develop drugs for rare diseases, including bespoke therapies tailored to an individual patient’s needs. Continue Reading

Spotlight on Past Price Hikes: Anticipating and Establishing Defenses to Price Gouging Class Actions

Six months into the states of emergency triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a sizeable amount of data on how prices have actually moved, potentially leading to more private actions as plaintiffs now have the opportunity to review prices retroactively and establish claims based on hard data. Continue Reading

Use of Technology Assisted Review Finds Support in Northern District of Illinois

In a recent order from Livingston v. City of Chicago, Magistrate Judge Young Kim of the Northern District of Illinois provided useful guidance to litigants in the use of technology assisted review, or TAR. Importantly, Judge Kim affirmed what is known as “Sedona Principle Six,” the notion that a responding party is in the best position to design and evaluate procedures for preserving and producing its own electronically stored information, or ESI.    Continue Reading

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