ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona suing pharmacy benefit managers, manufacturers over increased insulin prices

Nov 27, 2023, 3:00 PM | Updated: 3:02 pm

Insulin kit...

Arizona is suing multiple pharmacy benefit managers and manufacturers, accusing them of raising insulin prices as a result of rebate schemes. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona is suing multiple pharmacy benefit managers and manufacturers, accusing them of raising insulin prices as a result of rebate schemes.

The state’s attorney general’s office alleges the managers and manufacturers violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act by artificially increasing the prices due to the schemes.

Rebates were put in place to reduce prescription drug costs, including for insulin, as a way to limit profits for manufacturers. The manufactures instead refused and increased prices to make up for the rebates they had to pay the managers, according to the lawsuit.

The pharmacy benefit managers were said to have executed complex business plans to keep most of inflated profits to themselves despite promises to send increased money to health insurers and patients.

“This lawsuit isn’t just about insulin prices,” Mayes said in a press release. “It’s about exposing and stopping these deceptive and unfair rebate schemes so medication prices don’t continue to skyrocket for patients.”

What companies were named in the lawsuit?

The main pharmacy benefit managers named in the lawsuit are CVS Caremark, Express Scripts and OptumRx.

The manufacturers named are Novo Nordisk Inc., Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, and Eli Lilly and Company.

The lawsuit seeks restitution for overpayments, disgorgement of excessive profits and civil penalties for unfair and deceptive trade practices.

Mayes will also seek to keep the managers and manufacturers from engaging in similar schemes in the future via a court order.

“This lawsuit will not only force these companies to return their unfair profits to Arizona consumers but will also force the companies to operate transparently so patients can understand the true cost of their prescription drugs,” Mayes said.

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Arizona suing pharmacy benefit managers, manufacturers over increased insulin prices