Dec 18, 2019

Major health care companies keep getting taken to court

Photo: Ronen Tivony/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The Department of Justice's lawsuit against CVS Health, alleging the falsification of old prescriptions and creation of new improper refills, wasn't the only major legal battle in health care world yesterday.

Driving the news: The Federal Trade Commission is suing to block Illumina's $1.2 billion takeover of PacBio, which competes with Illumina for DNA sequencing that helps find disease patterns.

  • "When a monopolist buys a potential rival, it can harm competition. These deals help monopolists maintain power," FTC Bureau of Competition Deputy Director Gail Levine said in a release.

Michigan is the first state to sue opioid distributors — specifically AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson and Walgreens — as drug dealers.

  • "Wall Street underestimates the magnitude and depth of the opioid situation and the extent to which plaintiffs will seek restitution," stock analysts with Robert W. Baird & Co. wrote on the news.

A new class-action lawsuit, filed by a physician in Illinois, alleges TeamHealth violated federal communications law by texting recruitment pitches to physicians without their consent.

The bottom line: The health care industry takes up a lot space in the courts, given the nature of medical treatments and the ties to taxpayer funding. And all of this is happening while we await the imminent decision on the latest ACA case.

Go deeper: A health care settlement parade

Go deeper

Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.