MN High Court Decides Pharmacy Dispute

Minnesota case law summary by Attorney Richard Clem: pharmacy.

Graphic Communications Local 1B Health & Welfare Fund "A", et al., v. CVS Caremark Corporation, et al.. MN pharmacy

In this case involving a number of large pharmacies, the Minnesota Supreme Court held:

  1. Minnesota Statutes 151.21 does not create a private cause of action in favor of union-sponsored health and welfare benefit funds against pharmacies for failing to pass on the difference between the acquisition cost of brand name drugs and substituted generic prescription drugs.
  2. An omission-based consumer fraud claim is actionable under Minnesota Statute 325F.69 when special circumstances exist that trigger a legal or equitable duty to disclose the omitted facts.
  3. The amended complaint did not allege facts that would trigger a legal or equitable duty for appellant pharmacies to disclose prescription-drug acquisition costs; therefore, the complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Minnesota Statute 325F.69

No. A12-1555 (Minn. July 2, 2014)

Please see the original opinion for the court's exact language.


Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).

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