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Insulin Antitrust

Cvs Health Named In Insulin Price Fixing Investigations; Class Action Suits Also Pending

Cvs Health Named In Insulin Price Fixing Investigations; Class Action Suits Also Pending

CVS Health Named in Insulin Price Fixing Investigations; Class Action Suits also Pending Home / FisherBroyles News , Health Care /CVS Health Named in Insulin Price Fixing Investigations; Class Action Suits also Pending CVS Health Named in Insulin Price Fixing Investigations; Class Action Suits also Pending October 2, 2017 – In a recent SEC filing, CVS Health (CVS) has disclosed just how embroiled its PBM division has become in a number of insulin price fixing investigations and lawsuits nationwide. Two putative class action suits have been filed against CVS, along with a number of other PBMs and drug manufacturers, in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey. Plaintiffs in both cases allege that the PBMs and manufacturers have engaged in a conspiracy in which the PBMs sell access to their formularies by demanding the highest rebates, which in turn causes increased list prices for insulin. The primary claims are antitrust claims, claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and violations of state unfair competition and consumer protection laws. The CVS quarterly filing also discloses that CVS is under investigation by a number of states for insulin price fixing. In April 2017, CVS received a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) from the Attorney General of Washington, seeking documents and information regarding pricing and rebates for insulin products in connection with a pending investigation into unfair and deceptive acts or practice regarding insulin pricing. Washington’s Attorney General advised CVS that information received in response to its CID would be shared with the Attorneys General of California, Florida and Minnesota. In July 2017, CVS also received a CID from the Attorney General of Minnesota, seeking documents and information Continue reading >>

Insulin Antitrust | Kessler Topaz

Insulin Antitrust | Kessler Topaz

I would like to receive new case alerts by email Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP Files Antitrust Lawsuit Concerning Insulin Medication Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP is currently litigating antitrust claims against Novo Nordisk Inc. (Novo Nordisk). In the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that Novo Nordisk, along with Eli Lilly and Company (Eli Lilly) and Sanofi U.S. (Sanofi), raised their benchmark prices of insulin by over 150% over the past decade. Further, as detailed in the complaint, the insulin price increases by each company have been mostly in lockstep. About Insulin Long-Acting vs. Rapid Acting There are two types of analog insulin: long-acting and rapid-acting. Sanofi and Novo Nordisk's long-acting analog insulin, Lantus andLevemir respectively,havebeen produced for over ten years. Eli Lilly produces its own long-acting analog insulin, Basaglar, and Sanofi also produces a second long-acting analog insulin, Toujeo. Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, and Sanofi also produce rapid-acting insulins:Novolog, Humalog, and Apidra, respectively. The complaint alleges that the increased benchmark prices are the result of each of the insulin manufacturers, including Novo Nordisk, engaging in schemes with the largest national pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to maintain a wide, but secret, spread between the reported prices oftheir drugs and the undisclosed prices at which they are actually sold. According to the complaint, the three most influential PBMs in the United States are Express Scripts Holdings Co.,CVS Health Corp., and UnitedHealth Groups OptumRx, whichcontrolover 80% of the U.S. PBM market. The practice of publishing one price, while secretly offering another, has typically enabled drug manufacturers offering similar products to secure PBM business without signi Continue reading >>

New Lawsuit Concerning Insulin Price-fixing Filed In Federal Court

New Lawsuit Concerning Insulin Price-fixing Filed In Federal Court

New Lawsuit Concerning Insulin Price-Fixing Filed in Federal Court A lawsuit was filed in federal court in New Jersey in which 4 individual plaintiffs and the Type 1 Diabetes Defense Foundation are suing pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) CVS, Express Scripts, and OptumRx, in addition to insulin makers Sanofi-Aventis, Novo Nordisk, and Eli Lilly, accusing them of colluding on prices of insulin. On January 30, 2017, the first class-action lawsuit against insulin makers was filed in federal court in Massachusetts alleging that the same 3 pharmaceutical companies engaged in an organized scheme to drive up their insulin prices at the expense of patients who needed insulin to live. The list prices of insulin have risen steadily, often in concert, despite competition among the 3 companies marketing insulin. Humalog, launched 2 decades ago at a price of $21 per vial, has increased to $255 per vial. The new lawsuit filed in New Jersey on March 17, 2017, targets the same 3 insulin makers as the first lawsuit, and adds the PBMs CVS, Express Scripts, and UnitedHealths OptumRx to the lawsuit, claiming they were part of the alleged price-fixing scheme. The 69-count class action suit alleges violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), federal antitrust and racketeering statutes, and the laws of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and alleges that the drug makers significantly raised their list prices on insulins, raising them in lockstep with one another and sharing additional revenues with the PBMs through rebates. The individuals filing the lawsuit receive health benefits through employer-sponsored health plans governed by ERISA, insurance plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. The sky Continue reading >>

Us: Cvs Accused Of Insulin Price-fixing

Us: Cvs Accused Of Insulin Price-fixing

Share on Facebook Follow on Facebook Add to Google+ Connect on Linked in Subscribe by Email Print This Post The leading US drugmakers and pharmacy benefit managers colluded to fix prices for insulin, leading to skyrocketing costs and windfall profits for the companies, a new lawsuit alleges. Named are the country’s three largest pharmacy benefit managers—CVS Health, Express Scripts and OptumRx—which together control 80 percent of the PBM industry and manage benefits for 180 million people. Some of the biggest players in the American health-care industry are targeted in the 69-count class action complaint, filed March 17 in a federal court in New Jersey. Drug manufacturers Sanofi-Aventis, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly are included. “The skyrocketing cost of insulin cannot be explained away with typical drug company rationalizations for high costs,” the 300-plus page lawsuit reads. “Instead, the increased list prices are the result of a scheme and enterprise among the three dominant drug manufacturers of insulin … and the three largest Pharmacy Benefit Managers, CVS Health, Express Scripts, and OptumRx.” Continue reading >>

Klobuchar Presses Three Pharmaceutical Companies For Action On High Insulin Prices; Urges Vigilance Against Anticompetitive Conduct

Klobuchar Presses Three Pharmaceutical Companies For Action On High Insulin Prices; Urges Vigilance Against Anticompetitive Conduct

With the price more than tripling in the last decade, insulin is becoming increasingly unaffordable in the United States In letters to the CEOs of Eli Lilly, Sanofi, and Novo Nordisk, Klobuchar asked the companies for an explanation of the extreme price increases WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) today pressed three pharmaceutical companies on the high prices of insulin medication. According to recent reports, the price of insulin has more than tripled in the last decade--likely due in part to limited competition. In the United States, three companies have raised the list prices of insulin in near lock step, without providing evidence of increased production costs. In letters to the CEOs of Eli Lilly, Sanofi, and Novo Nordisk, Klobuchar called for action to help people with diabetes afford insulin and asked for an explanation of the extreme price increases. “The simultaneous price increases raise questions about potential coordination. Even absent coordination, raising list price appears to be a way to avoid competition by shifting the cost of insulin to patients—particularly those with Medicare Part D coverage or a high-deductible plan—resulting in price increases well over 100 percent,” Senator Klobuchar wrote. The senator continued, “The rising cost of prescription drugs in this country is unacceptable, and we must be vigilant when it comes to potentially anticompetitive conduct that can further increase these costs. I urge you to take immediate steps to alleviate the burden your price increases have put on people with diabetes and to ensure your companies’ behavior fully complies with our antitrust laws. In addition, I ask that you provide a written explanation for your continued insulin price increases and any documents examining th Continue reading >>

Insulin Drug Price Inflation: Racketeering Or Perverse Competition?

Insulin Drug Price Inflation: Racketeering Or Perverse Competition?

Insulin Drug Price Inflation: Racketeering or Perverse Competition? Insulin Drug Price Inflation: Racketeering or Perverse Competition? We contend that recent insulin drug price inflation is a case of perverse competition rather than a case of illegal racketeering in violation of the RICO Act. We will present the case that a now consolidated racketeering RICO lawsuit initiated by the law firm Hagens Berman has inverted the hierarchy of the Pharma PBM enterprise. The lawsuit claims that the bidders Pharma spearheaded rebate negotiations and that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) as rebate-collecting gatekeepers are the followers. This makes no sense and is grounds for a dismissal of the lawsuit. We concede that there was coordinated list pricing, but these were opening moves in a two-step bidding process driven by a perverse PBM business model rather than initiated by Pharma. We will present charts of formulary choices made by PBMs that are so varied that they could not be the result of collusion. Rather the varied formulary choices in this case had to be the result of vigorous competition among insulin drug companies vying to be the highest gross rebate bidder that culminated in rational economic decisions by PBMs to award formulary exclusivity to the lowest net price bidder. In other words, there are no antitrust issues in this case. Racketeers as Gatekeepers to Markets With Reduced Competition Racketeering is organized crime. It involves hierarchical groups of individuals working cooperatively under the direction of leaders. The organization can run the gamut from a traditional business like a trade show logistics company to a tight knit association-in-fact enterprise like a mafia crew. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) was passed by Congre Continue reading >>

Timeline: Insulin Market Under Scrutiny

Timeline: Insulin Market Under Scrutiny

The price of lifesaving diabetes drugs has skyrocketed over the past decade. And patients aren’t the only ones who have noticed. Five states and a federal prosecutor are demanding information from insulin manufacturers and the pharmaceutical industry’s financial middlemen. Below, we detail when legal action related to insulin drugs began, with links to documents. March 2016 The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York launches the first of several civil investigative demands (CIDs), beginning with Sanofi and Novo Nordisk. The federal prosecutor’s demand of Novo Nordisk specifies information is needed regarding insulins Novolog, Novolin and Levemir, according to the company’s annual report; Sanofi reports the request for information is also in relation to pharmacy benefit managers and regarding top-selling insulin drug Lantus as well as Apidra since 2006, according to the company’s annual 20-F filing. July 2016 Eli Lilly discloses that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York issued a CID also for information related to pharmacy benefit managers, according to its July 2016 quarterly filing. August 2016 Express Scripts receives a CID from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. It too notes the federal prosecutor is asking for information about relationships. No specific drugs are named, according to the company’s 2016 annual report. November 2016 Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) ask the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether insulin makers have colluded or engaged in anti-competitive behavior. January 2017 Minnesota’s attorney general launches what appears to be the first state investigation, issuing civil investigative d Continue reading >>

There's Something Odd About The Way Insulin Prices Change

There's Something Odd About The Way Insulin Prices Change

A Type 1 diabetes patient holds up bottles of insulin. Reuters/Lucy Nicholson Insulin prices are rising — increases that mean some people are spending as much on monthly diabetes-related expenses as their mortgage payment. But what makes the rise in insulin prices different than many other old drugs that have drawn scrutiny over prices, is that there is competition for insulin. In most industries, competition drives down prices. In this case, the competitors appear to increase prices side-by-side — something that's been referred to as "shadow pricing." At least three companies — Eli Lilly & Co., Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi Aventis — make and sell insulin. Despite this competition, prices have steadily climbed over the past decade, taking single or double-digit list price increases in a year. A 10 milliliter vial of Sanofi's long-acting insulin, Lantus, first hit the US market at $34.81 a vial in 2001, according to data from Truven Health Analytics. Since 2014, the last time Sanofi raised the price, it has been $248.51. During the period in which Lantus's price rose 600%, a rival product from Novo Nordisk appeared. In 2006, the new drug, called Levemir, hit the market at $66.96 (close to what Sanofi's drug cost at the time). These days Levemir costs about $269. In other words, the competition seems to have done nothing to push prices down. In fact, when charted side by side, the price increases seem to be in synch. Andy Kiersz/Business Insider When you look at short-acting analog insulins (the types of insulin that are taken around the time diabetics eat, or what's used in an insulin pump), the prices are in such lockstep that you can't see two lines. Lilly's Humalog cost $20.82 in 1996 and now goes for $255.40, an increase of 1,124% over 20 years. Novo Nordisks's N Continue reading >>

Insulin Overpricing - Keller Rohrback | Complex Litigation Law Firm

Insulin Overpricing - Keller Rohrback | Complex Litigation Law Firm

United States District Court, District of New Jersey On March 17, 2017, the nationally recognized class-action law firm of Keller Rohrback L.L.P. filed suit against the nations three largest pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), Express Scripts, OptumRx, and CVS Caremark, and the three major insulin manufacturers, Sanofi-Aventis, Novo Nordisk, and Eli Lilly, who produce the well-known and widely-prescribed analog insulins: Lantus, Apidra, Levemir, Humalog, and Novolog. The complaint, which was filed in the New Jersey federal district court, alleges that the PBMsinsurance industry middlemen who negotiate drug prices and create drug formularies that determine how much patients payconspired with the insulin manufacturers to artificially inflate the price of insulin for their own collective benefit. This profit-seeking move has directly injured individual patients and other purchasers of insulin financially and put the lives of millions of diabetes sufferers at risk. The Insulin Pricing Scheme alleged in Plaintiffs complaint explains how PBMs sell exclusionary or preferential access to their formularies in exchange for a cut of rebates and other fees paid by the drug manufacturers to the PBMs. Formularies are ranked lists of drugs that health insurers rely upon to determine how much of their members drug costs they will cover. Manufacturers sales depend on access to these enormous purchaser pools for their profits. Although the PBMs claim the rebates and other payments lower the cost of insulin, in fact, this is misleading. The rebates and other payments decrease the cost of insulin for the PBMs and the insurers with whom the rebates are shared, but drive up the cost for consumers, whose pre-deductible or coinsurance payments at the pharmacy point-of-sale are based on the unre Continue reading >>

Update 2-sanofi, Novo Nordisk And Lilly Named In Patients' Price Fixing Suit

Update 2-sanofi, Novo Nordisk And Lilly Named In Patients' Price Fixing Suit

UPDATE 2-Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Lilly named in patients' price fixing suit (Adds comment from Sanofi and Eli Lilly, background on lawmaker concerns and plaintiffs) NEW YORK, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Three of the biggest makers of diabetes treatments, Sanofi SA, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly & Co, were named in a proposed class action lawsuit by a group of patients alleging price-fixing. The lawsuit, filed on Monday in a federal court in Massachusetts, said the companies simultaneously hiked the price of insulin by over 150 percent during the past five years. The twelve named plaintiffs, residents of Georgia, Florida, California and Massachusetts who have diabetes, claim Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Lilly raised their public benchmark price for insulin products while maintaining a lower true price they charged large pharmacy benefit managers like Express Scripts, CVS Health and OptumRX. The PBMs act as intermediaries with health insurers and keep a percentage of the price difference, according to the lawsuit. Ashleigh Koss, a spokeswoman for Sanofi said: We strongly believe these allegations have no merit, and will defend against these claims. Eli Lilly spokesman Greg Kueterman declined to comment on the lawsuit but said the company complied with all applicable laws and adhered to the highest ethical standards. Ken Inchausti, a spokesman for Novo Nordisk, said the company disagreed with the complaints characterization of the pharmaceutical supply chain and noted its commitment to patients access to medicine. The plaintiffs claim the alleged price-fixing scheme caused them to overpay for insulin. According to the lawsuit, some skipped meals or underdosed their insulin because they could not afford treatment otherwise. Others intentionally experienced severe diabetic complications t Continue reading >>

Several Probes Target Insulin Drug Pricing

Several Probes Target Insulin Drug Pricing

With the price of a crucial diabetes drug skyrocketing, at least five states and a federal prosecutor are demanding information from insulin manufacturers and the pharmaceutical industry’s financial middlemen about their business relationships and the soaring price of diabetes drugs. Attorneys general in Washington, Minnesota and New Mexico issued civil investigative demands this year and are sharing information with Florida and California, according to various corporate financial filings. Insulin makers Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi and top pharmacy benefit manager CVS Health are targets in the state investigations. Several of the financial filings note that the state and federal prosecutors want information regarding specific insulins for specific dates in relation to “trade practices.” They appear to be looking into potentially anti-competitive business dealings that critics have leveled at this more than $20 billion niche market of the pharmaceutical industry, according to analysts and court filings reviewed by Kaiser Health News. These include whether drug makers and middlemen in the supply chain have allowed prices to escalate in order to increase their profits. At the same time, prominent class-action lawyers are bringing suits on behalf of patients. Steve Berman, an attorney best known for winning a multibillion-dollar settlement from the tobacco industry, alleged collusion and said it was time to break up the “insulin racket.” The price of insulin — a lifesaving drug — has reached record highs as Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi raised prices more than 240 percent over the past decade to often over $300 a vial today, with price rises frequently in lockstep, according to information technology firm Connecture. Those prices take a toll on patien 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 >>

Insulin Makers Price Collusion Potential Antitrust Litigation

Insulin Makers Price Collusion Potential Antitrust Litigation

Insulin Makers Price Collusion Potential Antitrust Litigation Insulin Makers Price Collusion Potential Antitrust Litigation Chimicles & Tikellis is investigating a potential class action lawsuit against insulin manufacturers Eli Lilly, Sanofi and Novo Nordisk. On November 3, 2016, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Elijah Cummings sent a letter to the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission urging the agencies to investigate whether these entities have colluded or engaged in anticompetitive behavior in setting their insulin drug prices. According to the letter, the original patent on insulin expired 75 years ago, yet these three entities have continuously raised prices on this life-saving medication. It has further been reported that several of these price increases mirrored one another precisely. The letter notes that there are six million Americans who use insulin to treat diabetes, and that the Congressmen have heard from their constituents that this life-saving insulin is becoming increasingly unaffordable. If you have purchased or paid for Sanofis Lantus drug; Ely Lillys Humalog drug; or Novo Nordisks Levemir drug within the past four years and noticed one or more price increases, please contact us to discuss this investigation. Continue reading >>

Berman, Cecchi Appointed Lead Counsel In Insulin Price Fixing Litigation

Berman, Cecchi Appointed Lead Counsel In Insulin Price Fixing Litigation

Follow New Jersey Law Journal Copyright 2018 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Berman, Cecchi Appointed Lead Counsel in Insulin Price Fixing Litigation Steve Berman of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro and James Cecchi of Carella, Byrne, Cecchi, Olstein, Brody & Agnello, will represent a putative class suing insulin manufactures for antitrust violations. By Cogan Schneier |September 19, 2017 at 01:32 PM Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided. A federal judge chose two lawyers Monday to serve as lead counsel in a putative class action against drug manufacturers and pharmacies alleging antitrust violations, following squabbling from several firms eager to take the leading role. This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis. To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance. LexisNexis is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis services via Lexis Advance. This includes content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Law Technology News, The New York Law Journal and Corporate Counsel, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information. ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content. For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected] Cogan Schneier is a Washington, D.C.-based litigation reporter covering D.C. courts, national liti 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 >>

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