A federal judge in Boston granted preliminary approval to a $350 million settlement agreement resolving a class-action lawsuit alleging pharmaceutical distributor McKesson Corp. conspired to raise drug prices with First DataBank, a publisher of wholesale price data for prescription drugs.
McKesson reported the proposed settlement in November 2008, saying the company denied and continues to deny each and all of the claims and contentions alleged in the class action. According to the complaint brought by the New England Carpenters Health Benefits Fund, the companies agreed to artificially raise and fix the spread between wholesale average costs and average wholesale prices published by First DataBank for about 450 brand-name drugs.
Included in the class potentially receiving payments are third-party payers who paid claims for the covered drugs, as well as consumers who paid cash or percentage copayments for them. The judge is scheduled to decide July 23 whether to grant final approval.