Insulin Overpricing Lawsuit Update
More than 7.4 million Americans take insulin to help treat their diabetes. Although insulin is naturally occurring in the boy, these treatments act as a supplement when the body doesn’t create enough. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry has been involved in many lawsuits regarding what they charge patients for this hormone.
Why Insulin Pricing Surged
It may seem counter-intuitive, but over the last five years, the method of insulin production has decreased in cost for manufacturers. Despite this decrease in production cost, the price of insulin for patients climbed steadily.
A study completed in 2018 concluded that the average cost of insulin should be between $48-$71 annually, but the average patient’s supply’s actual cost was over $5.5k. This price disparity isn’t because manufacturers like Eli Lilly were changing the composition or researching new production methods for this hormone. In fact, its production and composition haven’t changed too much since the 1990s.
Instead, what the patient pays for with their insulin is the product’s marketing. The research and development for insulin costs only a fraction of the marketing budget. As a result, lawsuits were filed for deceptive and unfair trade practices and unfair enrichment.
Which Companies Have Been Named in Lawsuits
Although there are several national manufacturers of insulin, the three biggest manufacturers are Eli Lilly, Sanofi, and Novo Nordisk. Combined, these companies control 92% of the insulin in the US. They also receive over 95% of the revenue earned from the global diabetes drug market.
Because of this near-monopoly of the insulin market, these companies have been able to raise the prices of this medicine, earning an enormous profit margin. In order to achieve this margin, manufacturers pay high “administrative fees” to work their way onto formulary lists of drugs that insurers should pay. This list often determines what drugs are sold on the US market, leading to a pricing surge in insulin to ensure that it stays on that list.
The lawsuits brought against those three companies claim that the “administrative fees” manufacturers pay to the controlling companies are a form of an illegal rebate.
In 2023, Eli Lilly agreed to a settlement to end the seven-year class action lawsuit that had been brought against them for pricing insulin too high. The agreed settlement amount is $13.5 million, and Lilly has agreed to cap its out-of-pocket insulin prices at $35 for the next four years.
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Insulin Overpricing Litigation Update
Because the many lawsuits filed against insulin manufacturers all shared a common, factual core, they could be consolidated into one Multi-District Litigation (MDL). These cases were brought before a judge in the District of New Jersey on August 3rd when an order of transfer was drafted that would move all current and future lawsuits to that same district.
Although the defendants in this case, including Eli Lilly, argued against consolidating the cases, the courts ruled that their arguments did not sway the opinion of the presiding judges. Since the cases were moved to be consolidated, eight additional cases have been brought before the courts.
These additional cases will be filed individually through their respective states but potentially be brought into bellwether cases. After all the pre-trial proceedings are completed, the cases will be brought back to their individual status if a settlement has not been reached.
How the Inflation Reduction Act Affects Insulin Pricing
The Biden administration signed legislation that, among other things, affected insulin pricing in August of 2022 called the Inflation Reduction Act. This act made insulin pricing federally regulated and made a price cap for insulin for people on Medicare at $35 a month.
How Van Law Firm Can Help Earn You Compensation
If you have suffered high insulin pricing and paid costly out-of-pocket expenses, Van Law Firm can see if you qualify for a case against insulin-controlling companies. Our team is experienced in MDLs and individual case filing and can walk you through every step of the process.
When you contact us, you’ll get in touch with a legal team who treats you with respect and takes your claim seriously from the first moment you call. All of our consultations are free, so what are you waiting for? Call us today, and let us fight for you to earn the compensation you deserve.
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