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Insulin Price Lawsuit Accuses Three Drugmakers of Fraudulent Practices

Image: Insulin Price Lawsuit Accuses Three Drugmakers of Fraudulent Practices

A lawsuit filed Monday accuses three drugmakers of conspiring to raise prices of insulin. (Atman/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 31 Jan 2017 10:18 AM

An insulin price lawsuit was filed on Monday, accusing drugmakers of fixing the price of insulin.

Three drug manufacturers – Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly – have been accused of conspiring to raise the price of insulin, which is considered a lifesaving drug for patients with diabetes, according to The New York Times.

According to The New York Times, patients with diabetes could pay up to $900 a month for their insulin treatments – a number that many of them simply can’t afford.

Some patients have injected themselves with expired insulin or even drastically decrease their food intake to keep tabs on their blood sugar. The lawsuit also states that some patients went as far as to purposely allow themselves to go into diabetic ketoacidosis – a deadly blood syndrome requiring emergency treatment, The New York Times noted.

According to a recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, the price tag on insulin almost tripled between 2002 and 2013.

“People who have to pay out of pocket for insulin are paying enormous prices when they shouldn’t be,” said Steve Berman, the lawyer whose firm filed the suit, The New York Times noted.

According to The Washington Post, a version of insulin called Humalog has risen in price from $21 a vial to $255 during the past 20 years.

The lawsuit alleges that the companies have violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and state consumer protection laws by such actions as fraudulently raising prices and offering secret rebates to insurers, the Post reported.

“I think that publishing a price that you know is artificially inflated and is not a real price – other than to one group of people – is a fraud,” Berman said, according to The Washington Post.

Spokesman Greg Kueterman said Eli Lilly “conducts business in a manner that ensures compliance with all applicable laws, and we adhere to the highest ethical standards.”

“We strongly believe these allegations have no merit, and will defend against these claims,” Sanofi said, according to The New York Times.

“We are aware of the complaint and its characterization of the pharmaceutical supply chain. We disagree with the allegations made against the company and are prepared to vigorously defend the company in this matter,” Novo Nordisk spokesman Ken Inchausti said in an email, according to The Washington Post.

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An insulin price lawsuit was filed on Monday, accusing drugmakers of fixing the price of insulin.
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2017-18-31
Tuesday, 31 Jan 2017 10:18 AM
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