Issue: State False Claims Act
Court: U.S. Supreme Court of Michigan

Questions Presented:
Whether MCL 333.17755(2) provides an implied private cause of action;

II. What is meant by the requirement that a pharmacist shall "pass on the savings in cost" when the pharmacist dispenses a generically equivalent drug product and what constitutes a violation of this requirement;

III. Whether this requirement is limited to transactions involving a substitution of a generic drug for a name brand drug, and in this regard, whether § 17755(2) must be read in conjunction with the other subsections of MCL 333.17755;

IV. Whether § 17755(2) must be read in conjunction with the other subsections of MCL 333.17755;

V. Whether use of the remedies provided by the MFCA and the HCFCA is available when Part 177 of the Michigan Public Health Code, MCL 333.17701 et seq. provides administrative remedies for violations of MCL 333.17755;

VI. Whether the plaintiffs satisfied the heightened pleading requirement applicable to these actions under MCR 2.112(B)(1); and

VII. Whether plaintiff Marcia Gurganus is qualified to bring a qui tam action in light of the limitations found at MCL 400.610a(13).

RLC's Position:
The RLC urged the Supreme Court of Michigan to grant review of and reject a lower court’s interpretation of a Michigan statute that regulates the substitution of brand name prescription drugs with their generic equivalents. If left undisturbed, the lower court’s interpretation will interfere with the accessibility and affordability of generic prescription drugs. In addition, the decision would expose retailers to broad liability under the state’s false claims act.

Case Outcome: 
The court held that Michigan statue requires that when a generic drug is substituted for a brand-name drug (and only then), the pharmacist must pass on the difference between the wholesale cost of the brand-name drug and the wholesale cost of the generic drug. Court of Appeals' judgement is reversed and the trial court's grant of summary disposition is reinstated. 

Procedural History and Case Documents:

Please use the DOWNLOAD button below to access the RLC's Brief.


Stay in the know

Subscribe to our newsletter