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Humalog Lawsuit

Insulin Is Too Expensive For Many Of My Patients. It Doesn't Have To Be.

Insulin Is Too Expensive For Many Of My Patients. It Doesn't Have To Be.

At age 15, I developed an unquenchable thirst and frequent urination, and lost 20 pounds. I had developed Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that destroyed my body's ability to produce insulin. Without insulin, I would have eventually developed a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, which is lethal without (and even sometimes with) treatment. Years later, I'm a practicing endocrinologist. I could never have imagined back when I first started taking insulin that one day I would have so many patients who could not afford the medication because of skyrocketing prices. When the drug was discovered in 1921, the original patent was sold to the University of Toronto for $1 so that no one else could patent it and "secure a profitable monopoly." Numerous improvements later, insulin is produced by a three-company oligopoly. When the first of the newer insulin "analogs," Humalog, hit the market in 1996, it sold for $21 a vial. Today, vials of analog insulins, including Humalog, sell for about $300. Patients with Type 1 diabetes typically require two or three vials of insulin per month, but patients who are more resistant to insulin, such as those with Type 2 diabetes, may require six or more. A recent paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that insulin nearly tripled in cost from 2002 to 2013. A lawsuit filed in January accuses insulin companies of price collusion for allegedly raising prices repeatedly and in lockstep to match their competitors. Prices have gotten so bad that the American Diabetes Association recently launched an online petition at MakeInsulinAffordable.org, which has been signed by more than 248,000 people. Because insulin is so expensive, some people take less than their prescribed dose, causing higher blood sugars, which may lead Continue reading >>

Insulin Makers Targeted In Pricing Inquiries

Insulin Makers Targeted In Pricing Inquiries

Insulin makers targeted in pricing inquiries Buried deep in its first quarter earnings filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Eli Lilly & Co. disclosed it is being investigated for insulin pricing practices by the attorneys general of New Mexico and Washington. The Washington AG is looking at Lilly's relationship with pharmacy benefit managers. Insulin competitor Novo Nordisk has also said it is under investigation by the two AGs for pricing and trade practices for its insulin products, going back as far as 2005. Separately, Lilly, Novo and French drugmaker Sanofihave all been named as defendants infour lawsuits seeking damages under various state consumer protection laws and the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. There has been an outcry of late about insulin prices, which are climbing, just as other drug prices have been. The chronic nature of diabetes means that patients have to pay these prices for the rest of their lives, and for many patients, insulins are becoming too expensive. According to the Washington Post , human insulins from Lilly and Novo Nordisk have increased in price by 450% over inflation between 1996 and 2016. Lilly's Humalog, for example,has risen from $21 a vial to over $250. These price increases mean that patients are having to pay higher out-of-pocket costs, leading to issues with compliance as patients try to prolong time between filling prescriptions. Things are getting complicated at the moment for the big three in insulin. As well as the investigations by the attorneys general, last month, Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Lilly, along with the pharmacy benefit managers CVS, Express Scripts and UnitedHealth's OptumRx, were slapped with a complaint and demand for a jury trial from the Type 1 Diabetes Defe Continue reading >>

Lilly Used Nursing Services As Kickbacks To Boost Insulin Prescriptions, Lawsuit Claims

Lilly Used Nursing Services As Kickbacks To Boost Insulin Prescriptions, Lawsuit Claims

After Novo Nordisk settled a lawsuit alleging it marketed certain drugs under a "white coat" sales scheme, fellow diabetes drug giant Eli Lilly is facing similar claims of illicit marketing. A recently unsealed lawsuit claims the company ran a "multi-tiered kickback scheme" to pump up sales of key blockbusters. The lawsuit, filed in June and unsealed late last month, alleges Eli Lilly worked with Healthstar Communications and VMS Biomarketing to provide free nursing services to induce doctors to prescribe Lilly diabetes meds Humalog and Humulin, plus osteoporosis drug Forteo. The lawsuit also targets Covance and an Express Scripts unit, saying the two companies pitched into the setup by helping prescribers attain reimbursement. "While purporting to provide independent medical advice and disease-awareness information, the nurse educators were in reality acting as undercover sales reps for Lilly, focused on the mission Lilly had retained them to accomplish," the suit says. That mission, according to the lawsuit, was to refer the Lilly products to prescribers and patients. Eli Lilly representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit. Express Scripts disclosed the lawsuit in a Tuesday SEC filing, saying it believes the company and subsidiaries are "in substantial compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations in all material respects" but that it cannot predict the outcome. The same Express Scripts unit was named in a recent lawsuit over Mallinckrodt's controversial drug H.P. Acthar Gel and its huge jump in price over the years. Novo Nordisk in May settled a whistleblower lawsuit making similar allegations. That suit alleged that the company used certified diabetes educators to induce prescribers to use Novo drugs by offering educatio Continue reading >>

The Makers Of Insulin Are Being Accused Of Price-fixing In A Class-action Lawsuit

The Makers Of Insulin Are Being Accused Of Price-fixing In A Class-action Lawsuit

An insulin pump. Alden Chadwick/Flickr A lawsuit filed Monday alleges that the three companies that make insulin have been part of an "organized scheme to drive up prices at the expense of patients who need insulin drugs to live." Insulin is a hormone that helps people absorb and process the sugar in food. Roughly 1.25 million people in the US who have Type 1 diabetes need to inject insulin to live, as do many people with Type 2 diabetes, the more common form. The complaint filed in the US District Court of Massachusetts details examples of patients who pay $900 a month for the drug, as well as people who induced diabetic ketoacidosis — a potentially fatal condition in which the body builds up too much of a certain blood acid because there isn't enough insulin in the body — to have access to insulin samples in the emergency room. The suit alleges that the drug companies — Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, and Lilly — violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. “People living with diabetes are practically imprisoned under the price hikes and sadly are resorting to extreme measures to afford the medication they need to live,” Steve Berman, a managing partner at the legal firm representing the patients in the suit. The suit is seeking class-action status. Here's how the three companies responded: "We strongly believe these allegations have no merit, and will defend against these claims," Sanofi said in a statement. Lilly said in a statement that the company is aware of the suit and that "Lilly conducts business in a manner that ensures compliance with all applicable laws, and we adhere to the highest ethical standards." "We are aware of the complaint and its characterization of the pharmaceutical supply chain," Novo said in a statement. "We disagree wit Continue reading >>

Patients Vs. Pharma: Hagens Berman Files Complaint Against 'big Three' Insulin Producers

Patients Vs. Pharma: Hagens Berman Files Complaint Against 'big Three' Insulin Producers

The law firm Hagens Berman has filed a complaint in Massachusetts* against Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi, the ‘big three’ pharmaceutical companies that hold a near-monopoly on the insulin market. People living with type 1 diabetes will be the plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit, which alleges that Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi have unjustly inflated their prices. The firm’s investigation shows that the publicly reported, list prices of Lantus, Levemir, Novolog and Humalog have increased by more than 160% in the last five years, while the prices offered to pharmacy benefit managers stayed constant or even decreased. Background In the drug pricing and distribution system, drug makers often offer lower prices to pharmacy benefit managers. However, in the case of Lantus, Levemir, Novolog and Humalog, Hagens Berman believe that the difference between the list price of insulin and the prices offered to pharmacy benefit managers is enormous. Pharmacy benefit managers profit from these price discrepancies. Hagens Berman assert that the list prices of Lantus, Levemir, Novolog and Humalog have moved so far away from the real prices offered to pharmacy benefit managers that they are fraudulent. Not only is that practice illegal, it is harming people living with diabetes in painful and cruel ways. You can read the full complaint by following this link. People with Diabetes Fight Back T1International has connected people living with type 1 diabetes to the legal team at Hagens Berman. Patients have shared their often painful experiences, and more are speaking out for change. An excerpt from the complaint notes that: ‘’Plaintiffs describe going into debt, taking out loans, moving back in with their parents, and quitting school to pay for their insulin. One pla Continue reading >>

Sanofi Wins Tentative Fda Approval For Humalog Biosim, Putting Billions In Lilly Sales At Risk

Sanofi Wins Tentative Fda Approval For Humalog Biosim, Putting Billions In Lilly Sales At Risk

Eli Lilly has faced no shortage of trouble in diabetes recently, but the company now faces a new threat from rival Sanofi. The latter company won tentative FDA approval for a biosimilar to Lilly’s Humalog, putting billions in insulin sales at risk for the Indianapolis drugmaker. Sanofi won provisional approval for its biosim Admelog on Sept. 1, according to an FDA letter. Also a top player in diabetes, the French drugmaker now has 45 days to notify Lilly of the news, Bernstein analyst Tim Anderson wrote in a note to clients. Humalog was Eli Lilly’s top seller last year, bringing in $2.76 billion around the world; what the drugmaker does in response to the Sanofi approval could change the potential launch timeline for the biosim, Anderson continued. Humalog itself is out of patent protections, but Lilly could win up to 2.5 years of additional exclusivity if it chooses to sue for infringement on its remaining patent covering the KwikPen injection device, the analyst noted. The risk, however, is that it could run into trouble for filing a frivolous lawsuit. The risk if it doesn't is that Sanofi might launch much sooner. Alternatively, the parties could settle on a “mutually agreeable” launch date, Anderson wrote. RELATED: Lilly to cut 3,500 jobs, take a $1.2B hit as it aims for $500M in savings That patent issue aside, on Thursday, Lilly announced a significant round of job cuts—3,500—as it looks to save $500 million in annual expenses. The drugmaker will take a $1.2 billion hit to pay for site closures plus severance and retirement expenses. The cuts amount to more than 8% of the company’s global workforce. Marking new CEO David Ricks’ first major overhaul of the company, Thursday’s round of cuts come as Lilly struggles in diabetes due to increasing pres Continue reading >>

People With Diabetes Are Suing The Top 3 Insulin Makers

People With Diabetes Are Suing The Top 3 Insulin Makers

The law firm Hagens Berman is representing people living with diabetes in a class action suit against the ‘Big Three’ insulin makers Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi with the potential to affect any of the 29,000,000 people living with diabetes who take analog insulin. Those three pharmaceutical giants have been accused of unfairly raising their prices and thus monopolizing the insulin market by the plaintiffs in the case: people with type 1 diabetes. Hagen Berman is a very successful consumer rights firm who has won more than $260 billion in settlements against heavy hitters like pharmaceutical companies and banks. We recently reported that Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Elijah Cummings had asked the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to look into the same three companies for possible price collusion or what they called, “anticompetitive behavior”. Now the people are taking matters into their own hands. What is the Case Against the Big Three? T1International, a UK registered charity which is the equivalent of a non-profit organization in the US, supports people around the world getting access to affordable insulin. They shared in a post that Hagens Berman has investigated the matter and that their data show that “the publicly reported, list prices of Lantus, Levemir, Novolog and Humalog have increased by more than 160% in the last five years, while the prices offered to pharmacy benefit managers stayed constant or even decreased.” T1International explains that the way it normally works, drug makers typically lower their prices for the pharmacy benefit managers, the middle men between consumers and drug makers. Hagen Berman thinks that when it comes to the insulin brands Lantus, Levemir, Novolog, and Humalog the difference b Continue reading >>

Humalog Side Effects

Humalog Side Effects

Humalog may cause adverse side effects. Tell your doctor if the following symptoms appear: redness, swelling, or itching in the place where you injected Humalog changes in the feel of your skin such as skin thickening or a little indentation in the skin swelling of the hands and feet weight gain constipation Some adverse side effects can be quite serious: rash and itching difficulty breathing hives wheezing fast heartbeat sweating weakness muscle cramps abnormal heartbeat pharyngitis rhinitis accidental injury asthenia bronchitis dysmenorrhea myalgia Continue reading >>

Sanofi Wins Approval Of Admelog With Plans To Snatch Some Of Humalog's Blockbuster Sales

Sanofi Wins Approval Of Admelog With Plans To Snatch Some Of Humalog's Blockbuster Sales

With an FDA nod for its copycat of Eli Lilly's popular Humalog insulin, Sanofi is one step closer to challenging blockbuster diabetes sales from its rival. Sanofi's Admelog is the first meal-time insulin copy the FDA has approved. Sanofi's Admelog picked up a final FDA nod on Monday after being granted a tentative approval back in September. The company plans to launch in early 2018 and will provide pricing information then, according to a spokesperson. Admelog is a fast-acting insulin designed to help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar at mealtime. At the time of the initial approval, Bernstein analyst Tim Anderson noted that Eli Lilly's Humalog patent protections have run out, but that the Indianapolis drugmaker could try to win an extra 2.5 years of protection by suing for infringement on its remaining patent covering the KwikPen injection device. The drawback of the strategy, however, is that the company could face trouble for filing a frivolous lawsuit, Anderson wrote. A spokesperson for Sanofi told FiercePharma that Admelog will be available in early 2018 and that there are no ongoing patent disputes between the companies. "We will be providing more specifics about pricing when the product is available," she added. At stake with Sanofi's launch is $1.685 billion in U.S. sales and $2.7 billion in global sales for Humalog, both full-year figures from 2016. Sanofi's Admelog won European approval as a biosimilar back in July. Sanofi will also have a chance to get back at Lilly for the Lantus copycat its rival launched late last year. Lilly's Basaglar has had some success so far on the market, generating $278 million in the first 9 months of 2017. Still, the figure pales in comparison to Lantus' $4.16 billion in global sales this year. An Eli Lilly spokesper Continue reading >>

Lawsuit Accuses Drug Makers Of Conspiring To Hike Insulin Prices

Lawsuit Accuses Drug Makers Of Conspiring To Hike Insulin Prices

More than 29 million Americans live with diabetes, and for some six million of them, insulin is a life or death medication. Between 2002 and 2013, the price of insulin more than tripled, to more than $700 per patient. A federal lawsuit accuses the three insulin manufacturers of conspiring to raise their prices. The drug makers deny the allegations. Those high prices, combined with rising insurance deductibles, mean many people who rely on insulin are feeling sticker shock. Even doctors say without a way to pay, some patients are left facing impossible choices, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner. Contact us about this issue or other consumer problems you think we should look into at [email protected] A cell phone video shows Dr. Claresa Levetan talking to her patient Shawna Thompson back in the hospital because she couldn’t pay for her insulin. “One vial of insulin costs how much for you?” Levetan asked. “One hundred and seventy-eight dollars,” Thompson responded. It was the fourth time in just over a year that Thompson had to be treated for a life-threatening diabetic coma. “Patients come in and say I can’t afford to take it, so I’m not,” Levetan said. She said it’s common for her now to hand out free drug company samples of insulin, just so patients can stay on their lifesaving medication. “Patients are begging for samples because they can’t afford the insulin,” Levetan said. “Not asking, you’re saying, begging,” Werner said. “Begging,” Levetan said. Like 74-year-old Kathleen Washington. Some months, her insulin runs over $300 a month – more than she can afford. “I must pay my mortgage,” Washington said. If it’s a choice between the mortgage and the insulin, “It’s going to be the mortgage,” she said. Investm Continue reading >>

Drug Makers Accused Of Fixing Prices On Insulin

Drug Makers Accused Of Fixing Prices On Insulin

A lawsuit filed Monday accused three makers of insulin of conspiring to drive up the prices of their lifesaving drugs, harming patients who were being asked to pay for a growing share of their drug bills. The price of insulin has skyrocketed in recent years, with the three manufacturers — Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly — raising the list prices of their products in near lock step, prompting outcry from patient groups and doctors who have pointed out that the rising prices appear to have little to do with increased production costs. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Massachusetts, accuses the companies of exploiting the country’s opaque drug-pricing system in a way that benefits themselves and the intermediaries known as pharmacy benefit managers. It cites several examples of patients with diabetes who, unable to afford their insulin treatments, which can cost up to $900 a month, have resorted to injecting themselves with expired insulin or starving themselves to control their blood sugar. Some patients, the lawsuit said, intentionally allowed themselves to slip into diabetic ketoacidosis — a blood syndrome that can be fatal — to get insulin from hospital emergency rooms. A recent study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that the price of insulin nearly tripled from 2002 to 2013. “People who have to pay out of pocket for insulin are paying enormous prices when they shouldn’t be,” said Steve Berman, a lawyer whose firm filed the suit on behalf of patients and is seeking to have it certified as a class action. In a statement, Sanofi said, “We strongly believe these allegations have no merit, and will defend against these claims.” Lilly said it had followed all laws, adding, “We adhere to the highest ethical standards.” Continue reading >>

Eli Lilly & Co. History, Insulin Price Hikes & Pending Lawsuits

Eli Lilly & Co. History, Insulin Price Hikes & Pending Lawsuits

Eli Lilly is the 14th largest pharmaceutical company in the world based on 2016 revenue of more than $21.2 billion. The companys highest selling drugs for the year were Humalog (insulin) with $2.7 billion in sales, erectile dysfunction drug Cialis with $2.4 billion, and lung cancer drug Alimta with $2.2 billion in sales. Five of the companys best selling drugs, responsible for 21% of the companys revenues, face patent expirations by 2023. These include Cialis, scheduled to go off-patent in November 2017. Once these patents expire , the company expects lost revenue from competition with generic versions. Eli Lilly changed the way Americans perceived mental health care with the introduction of Prozac. Founded by a Civil War veteran, the company would be at the forefront of 20th century medical innovations becoming the first company to mass-produce insulin, penicillin and the Salk Polio vaccine and changing the way Americans perceived mental health care with the introduction of Prozac. It is the largest manufacturer of psychiatric medicines and one of the three largest insulin manufacturers in the world. As of 2017, more than one in five of Lillys employees, and nearly a quarter of its revenues, were devoted to research and development of new treatments. Lilly products were manufactured by plants in 13 countries and sold in 120 nations around the world. The Civil War and Science Shape Eli Lilly and Companys Early History Eli Lilly was only 16-years-old and a recent graduate of the class of 1854 at what is now DePauw University when he began a pharmacist apprenticeship in Lafayette, Indiana. In 1861, the Civil War would interrupt his career, until then spent working in various drugstores around the region. Joining the Union Army, Lilly rose to the rank of colonel before he Continue reading >>

Insulin Price Hikes Tell Us A Lot About What's Wrong With Drug Pricing In America

Insulin Price Hikes Tell Us A Lot About What's Wrong With Drug Pricing In America

Ballyscanlon/Getty Images When inventor Frederick Banting discovered insulin in 1923, he refused to put his name on the patent. He felt it was unethical for a doctor to profit off a discovery that would save lives. Banting’s co-inventors, James Collip and Charles Best, sold the insulin patent to the University of Toronto for a mere $1. They also wanted everyone who needed their medication to be able to afford it. Today Banting and colleagues would be spinning in their graves: Their drug, which many of America’s 30 million diabetics rely on, has become the latest poster child for pharmaceutical price gouging. On May 2, the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly raised the prices of its insulin medications, Humalog and Humulin, by 7.8 percent, according to newly obtained records from CNBC’s Meg Tirrell. And Lilly is not acting alone: Sanofi and Novo Nordisk, the only two other companies that manufacture insulin in the US, have been jacking up insulin prices recently too. Patients can now expect to pay upward of $400 per month for the century-old drug. Drug companies use the “cost of innovation” argument to justify the price increases — but critics don’t buy their reasoning, and diabetics who depend on the daily lifesaving medication are livid. In January, patients filed a class action lawsuit accusing the three companies of price fixing. The American Diabetes Association's board of directors has also asked Congress to investigate insulin price increases. While the US represents only 15 percent of the global insulin market, it generates almost half of the pharmaceutical industry’s insulin revenue. According to a recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine, in the 1990s Medicaid paid between $2.36 and $4.43 per unit of insulin; by 2014, those prices more than tripled, de Continue reading >>

Quality Of Life: Privileges, Benefits, Rights?

Quality Of Life: Privileges, Benefits, Rights?

When you think of the things around you that make your quality of life better, what comes to mind? Food, heat, electricity, how about healthcare or better yet, life sustaining, life-saving medicine? For someone with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, access to insulin isn’t just a ‘benefit’ to them, it is literally life or death. We’ve already discussed the ridiculous, high prices of insulin in the United States. We’ve made it pretty clear to the big pharmaceutical companies that access to the product they manufacture can mean living life, or having life be permanently put on hold. They understand the NEED, not just the WANT of affordability to these products. They know that we will go to any lengths, to ensure our loved ones and ourselves get access to insulin so they can stay alive. Because of this knowledge, pharmaceutical companies like that of Eli Lilly, use it to their ‘benefit’ It’s not a matter of life and death for them, it’s a matter of filling their pockets and supporting their lavish lifestyles. Anyone with a conscious has a hard time wrapping their head around how they can take advantage of those who desperately NEED access to their insulin and still sleep like babies at night. Knowing full well that for most people, getting that access to insulin means eating or not, means keeping the lights on, or not. It’s not a mere inconvenience for those with diabetes, it’s downright unimaginable. On May 2nd, Eli Lilly raised their price of Humalog by 7.81%. An already unaffordable vial of insulin, is not even more unaffordable for those who truly need it. This comes only months after Lilly sat down with advocates in the diabetes online community and listened to their heartfelt stories of trouble getting access to insulin they need, their family needs, Continue reading >>

Diabetes Patients Sue Insulin Makers For ‘pricing Fraud’

Diabetes Patients Sue Insulin Makers For ‘pricing Fraud’

A group of diabetes patients filed a lawsuit Monday against three drug companies for systematically increasing the list prices of insulin for years in an alleged fraudulent-pricing scheme that saddled patients with “crushing out-of-pocket expenses,” according to the filing. The insulin market is dominated by an oligopoly of companies that sell many billions of dollars worth of insulin each year — and have steadily raised the list prices of their drugs. A version of insulin called Humalog launched two decades ago with a sticker price of $21 a vial and has increased to $255 a vial. Meanwhile, competition has appeared to work in a perverse way, with list prices of competing insulins often rising in concert. Last year, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) asked for a federal investigation into “possible collusion” on insulin prices. The lawsuit, filed by 11 patients in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, focuses on a common practice in the pharmaceutical industry: Drug companies compete for insurers' business by offering secret rebates on their drugs. Companies that negotiate drug prices for insurers, called pharmacy benefit managers, can place drugs on tiers that determine how much consumers pay for them — decisions that may be influenced by the size of the discount granted by the drug companies. The lawsuit claims that drug companies have been increasing the list price of insulin in order to expand their discounts without lowering the overall price tag. The people stuck paying the balance: patients, particularly those without insurance or with high-deductible plans. The lawsuit alleges those actions violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and state consumer protection laws. “I think that publishing a price Continue reading >>

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