Dianne Nast of NastLaw, Michael Roberts of Roberts Law Group, and Don Barrett of Barrett Law Group, have been appointed as interim co-lead class counsel in a class action lawsuit involving several insulin drugs.
The Plaintiffs, direct purchasers of the analog insulin drugs NovoLog, Humalog, Lantus and Levemir, have accused the three insulin drug manufacturers of those drugs – Novo Nordisk Inc., Eli Lilly & Company, and Sanofi-Aventis U.S., LLC – of colluding with certain Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) in violation of federal antitrust and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) laws.
Plaintiffs allege that the insulin drug manufacturers have wrongfully raised the list prices of insulin in lockstep in an effort to gain favor with PBMs (which negotiate drug prices for employers and health plans). Plaintiffs further allege that the PBMs benefitted from hefty rebate spreads, or discounts off the inflated list prices, set by the insulin drug makers, in exchange for including those medicines on preferred formularies, so the insulin drugs would be covered by health plans.
The class action lawsuit also contends that the deceptive and misleading list prices were set so far above net prices that they did not accurately approximate the true cost of insulin, and that this was done to enable the drug companies to offer higher rebates to PBMs. The PBMs profited from the alleged scheme by pocketing a percentage of the difference between the list price of the drug and a lower, negotiated rate.
The complaint alleges that Defendants conducted the above price inflation scheme through repeated acts of mail and wire fraud that constituted a pattern of unlawful racketeering activity. Defendant manufacturers and PBMs are alleged to have caused plaintiff-direct purchasers to pay considerably higher distributor prices to purchase analog insulins from Defendant manufacturers.