Bober v. Glaxo Wellcome PLC

246 F.3d 934 (2001)

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Bober v. Glaxo Wellcome PLC

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
246 F.3d 934 (2001)

Facts

Mortimer Bober filed a class-action lawsuit against Glaxo Wellcome PLC and Glaxo Wellcome, Inc. (collectively Glaxo) (defendants), the manufacturers of Zantac 150 and Zantac 75, both of which contain ranitidine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zantac 150, available by prescription, to treat various digestive tract conditions, like ulcers and some esophageal conditions. The FDA approved Zantac 75, available without a prescription, to relieve and prevent heartburn. Bober was prescribed Zantac 150, which cost double the price of two Zantac 75 tablets. Bober called Glaxo’s consumer hotline twice to inquire about substituting two 75-tablets for one 150-tablet. Bober was first informed by a hotline-operator that Zantac 150 and Zantac 75 were not the same drug and that Bober could not substitute the drugs. On the second call, Bober heard a recording that said: “If your doctor has directed you to take prescription Zantac, you should not substitute Zantac 75 for your prescription.” An online site informed: “If your physician has prescribed a medicine, you should not substitute any other medication for your prescription. You should always ask your physician any questions you may have about changing your medication.” Bober alleged that all three statements were false and misleading under Illinois law because both drugs contained ranitidine and are therefore readily substitutable. Glaxo alleged that because both drugs complied with federal regulations, they were immune under § 10(b)(1) of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (CFA) that excluded liability for actions specifically authorized by laws administered by any regulatory body of Illinois or the United States.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Williams, J.)

Concurrence (Wood, J.)

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