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Inflated Drug Prices

Santarus Glumetza Label

What’s a fair price for a thirty-day supply of the extended-release diabetes medicine Glumetza—generic name metformin? Is it $55 or $2,200? The complaint for this class action alleges that a number of companies conspired to limit the entry of generic versions of Glumetza to the market. The defendants in this antitrust suit are Bausch Health Compaines, Inc. (formerly Valeant Pharmaceuticals International), Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd., Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Santarus, Inc., Assertio Therapeutics, Inc. (formerly Depomed, Inc.), Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Lupin, Ltd.

Front Label of Provigil Container

An antitrust class action and an antitrust case brought by the California Attorney General (CAAG) on the same topic are being settled at the same time. The suits claim that drug companies conspired to keep prices of the original drug Provigil high by delaying the introduction of generics and (in the CAAG suit) of Nuvigil.

Rite Aid Sign

Pharmacies are supposed to charge insurance companies and customers their “usual and customary” (U&C) price for generic prescription drugs. This is normally the price paid by customers who do not have insurance and who pay cash, but the complaint claims that Rite Aid charges a higher price, in violation of federal and state regulations. The complaint alleges violation of laws against negligent misrepresentation, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment, among other things. 

EpiPen Two-Pack

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) OptumRX, ExpressScripts, and CVS Caremark have more than $200 billion per year in revenue and control almost 80% of the industry—and the complaint for this class action alleges that they do it by engaging in schemes for their own profit, violating their fiduciary duties to health plan consumers. Over time, the complaint alleges, PBMs developed their relationships in the healthcare system into a scheme marked by kickbacks and increasing control of product choice. According to the complaint, PBMs now choose drugs based not on the good of the consumer but on the size of the kickback from the manufacturer. The ultimate victim of the scheme is the consumer, who pays more via retail prices, co-pays, deductibles, and premiums. The complaint alleges that PBMs have breached fiduciary duties toward participants in healthcare plans under ERISA.