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In a setback to the pharmaceutical industry, a federal judge has tossed a lawsuit that sought to prevent state governments from importing medicines from Canada. And the decision is likely to embolden more states to now consider the approach as they look to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

In a 26-page opinion, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly ruled that drug companies failed to prove they would face a “concrete risk of harm” from a federal rule that would allow states to import medicines. In his view, any harm is only speculative, because there is no guarantee the federal government will approve any state proposal. As a result, the industry did not have standing to file suit.

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