Association for Accessible Medicines v. James, et al.
Association for Accessible Medicines v. James, et al. (U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, December 18, 2020). The 2nd Circuit refused to review its decision which left undisturbed the New York Opioid Stewardship Act (OSA), imposing $600 million in payments on several opioid distributers. The law included a “pass through” prohibition preventing the passing of costs of payments on to purchasers. Two trade groups and an opioid maker/distributor challenged the OSA. In December 2018, the trial court classified the OSA payment as a regulatory penalty, striking down the law under principles of interstate commerce. In September 2020, the 2nd Circuit reversed on grounds that federal courts lacked subject matter jurisdiction. The payment is not a regulatory penalty but rather a state tax because it was imposed by the legislature and the funds are designated for health and wellness services. Federal courts may not “enjoin, suspend or restrain the assessment, levy or collection of any tax under State law.” The court then denied a request to review the decision just 2 months later. Read the order here. Read the September 2020 decision here.