States investigate pharma companies, CVS Health as diabetes drug prices reach record highs
Post a comment / Oct 30, 2017 at 6:44 AM
A patient loads insulin for his routine shot.
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, seeking answers 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 drugmakers 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.”
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