Minnesota AG Files Suit Against Drugmakers Over High Insulin Prices: It’s ‘A Life-Or-Death Drug For People’
The lawsuit alleges the insulin makers fraudulently set an artificially high “list” price but then negotiate lower prices by paying rebates and discounts to pharmacy benefit managers. Stories of patients dying because they weren't able to pay for their insulin have brought attention to the issue in recent months. Minnesota is the first state to go to court over the prices.
Minnesota Becomes First State To Sue Major Insulin Makers Over Price-Gouging
In the latest sign of anger over the cost of insulin, the Minnesota attorney general on Tuesday filed a lawsuit accusing the three largest manufacturers — Eli Lilly, Sanofi and Novo Nordisk — with deceptively raising prices, the first state to go to court over the issue. “Insulin is a life-or-death drug for people with diabetes,” said Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson in a statement. “Many people can’t afford the price hikes but can’t afford to stop taking the medication either.” As an example, the lawsuit cited the Lantus insulin sold by Sanofi, which cost $99.35 for a 10-milliliter vial in 2010, now costs $269.54. (Silverman, 10/16)
Minnesota Accuses Insulin Makers Of Deceptive Drug Pricing
The lawsuit contended that the list prices the drug companies set were so far from those net prices that they did not accurately approximate the true cost of insulin and were deceptive and misleading. The practice made insulin less affordable for diabetes patients in high deductible health plans, the uninsured and senior citizens covered by the government Medicare healthcare program, the suit contended. "Many people can’t afford the price hikes but can’t afford to stop taking the medication either," Swanson said in a statement. (10/16)
Minnesota AG Sues Drug Companies Over Insulin Price Hikes
The lawsuit was filed against the country's three major makers of insulin: Sanofi-Aventis, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Co. "We believe the claims are without merit, and we will defend against them vigorously," an Eli Lilly spokesman said. "We have no further comment at this time.” (Sullivan, 10/16)