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US: Fed lawsuit accuses 3 insulin manufacturers of conspiring to raise their prices 120%

 |  February 23, 2017

A federal lawsuit is accusing three of the biggest drug manufacturers of insulin of conspiring together to raise their prices, but the pharmaceutical companies deny the allegations.

The lawsuit, filed on in January in a federal court in Massachusetts, said Sanofi SA, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly & Co simultaneously hiked the price of the drug.

Investment research firm SSR Health analyzed list prices for insulin from the three companies and found that the prices increased between 99 and 120 percent from 2012 to 2016, CBS News reported.

The lawsuit’s 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 pharmacy benefit managers act as intermediaries with health insurers and keep a percentage of the price difference, according to the lawsuit.

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 to obtain insulin samples from emergency rooms, the complaint said.

Full Content: CBS News

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