Humana sues drugmakers alleging far-reaching conspiracy to drive up prices - (Louisville Business First via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Humana has filed a lawsuit in a US district court accusing nearly 40 drugmakers including Teva of a wide-ranging conspiracy to increase generic drug prices, Louisville Business First reported.

  • The news comes after the insurer filed a similar lawsuit in the same court in August last year.

  • The litigation contends that Humana overpaid for its enrolees because pharmaceutical companies "conspired to manipulate the relevant markets, allocate these markets amongst themselves and obstruct generic competition in an ongoing scheme to fix, increase, stabilise and/or maintain the price of [certain drugs]."

  • "[Teva and its co-conspirators] leveraged the culture of cronyism in the generic drug industry to avoid price erosion, increase prices for targeted products and maintain artificially inflated prices across their respective product portfolios without triggering a 'fight to the bottom' among competitors," the lawsuit continued.

  • The lawsuit specifically cites an alleged 2762% price hike for the beta-blocker nadolol and a 1053% increase for doxazosin.

  • The news comes after California's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development found that the median price increase for certain drugs between 2017 and the first quarter of 2019 was 25.7%.

  • "As a result of the conspiracy, Humana paid substantially inflated and anticompetitive prices for generic pharmaceutical drugs, and [the] defendants illegally profited as a result," the lawsuit stated.

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