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BOSTON �— A Massachusetts federal judge sided with seven state attorneys general and three from New York counties and remanded back to state courts 10 cases in the multidistrict litigation over average wholesale drug prices. The cases, and the multidistrict litigation, involve whether the companies fraudulently inflated average wholesale prices drug prices, causing government entities to overpay for medical services reimbursed by Medicare. In re: Pharmaceutical Industry Average Wholesale Price Litigation, M.D.L. No. 1456, No. 01-12257 (D. Mass). Although the 10 cases involve numerous defendant companies, three defendant companies initially moved to combine the cases with the multidistrict litigation on the grounds that the court’s unsealing of federal False Claims Act actions against them provided grounds for federal jurisdiction. They argued that 30-day deadline for seeking removal to federal court began when they received notice of a federal qui tam complaint from the U.S. Department of Justice, but the plaintiffs called the removals “groundless and untimely,” according to Judge Patti B. Saris’ order. Officials from the drug companies Abbott Laboratories, Boehringer Ingelheim Corp. and Dey Inc., could not immediately be reached for comment. The cases are returning to Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. On September 12, Judge Saris removed two other cases in the multidistrict action to their federal courts of origin in Montana and Nevada.

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