Eighth Circuit reinstates challenge to MN insulin affordability law

In 2020, Minnesota adopted the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act which, among other things, requires drug manufacturers to provide insulin for free to Minnesota residents who meet certain criteria.  PhRMA sued in federal court, alleging the law constituted a Takings Clause violation, and seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.

The district court dismissed the suit on standing grounds, reasoning that Minnesota’s inverse condemnation proceedings provided an adequate remedy, and that the federal court could not provide equitable relief. The Eighth Circuit reversed, finding that equitable relief was available in these circumstances, as “Minnesota’s inverse condemnation procedure does not afford insulin manufacturers an adequate remedy for the repetitive series of alleged takings.” The court also found PhRMA had associational standing to bring the case, finding the nature of the Takings Clause claim made it unnecessary for individual drug manufacturers to participate.

Concurring, Judge Gruender would have  held that the availability of equitable relief was not a standing question.

The court declined to address the merits, and remanded the case for further proceedings in the District of Minnesota.

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