Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
  • A
  • Astra USA, Inc. v. Santa Clara CountyAstra USA, Inc. v. Santa Clara County
From our private database of 16,800+ case briefs...

Astra USA, Inc. v. Santa Clara County

Supreme Court of the United States
131 S. Ct. 1342 (2011)


The Public Health Services Act (the statute), 42 U.S.C. § 256b, limits the prices that participating drug manufacturers may charge for medications sold to public hospitals and community health centers, known as covered entities. In order to participate in state Medicaid programs, drug manufacturers must opt into the drug-pricing program by signing a Pharmaceutical Pricing Agreement (PPA). The PPAs are form documents that recite the obligations under the statute. The statute does not provide a private right of action to covered entities who are overcharged under the program. The statute is enforced by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Santa Clara County (the county) (plaintiff), a covered entity, sued Astra USA, Inc. and eight other pharmaceutical companies (the companies) (defendants) for overcharging facilities in violation of the companies’ PPAs. The district court dismissed the complaint. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed, finding that a covered entity could maintain an action as a third-party beneficiary to the PPAs. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 448,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 448,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 16,800 briefs, keyed to 224 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial