Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Mississippi AG Files Lawsuit Against Insulin Manufacturers and PBMs over Insulin Pricing Scheme

The Mississippi attorney general last week filed a lawsuit accusing several drug makers and pharmacy benefit managers of conspiring to set prices for insulin, the life-savings diabetes treatment that has become a poster child for the high cost of prescription medicines. 

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The lawsuit alleged that the manufacturers benefited from a scheme in which prices were “artificially” inflated to win placement on formularies, the list of medicines for which insurance is provided. And pharmacy benefit managers profited by receiving “secret” rebates from the manufacturers and also through their own mail-order pharmacy sales. In the alleged scheme, the Manufacturer Defendants artificially and willingly raise their reported prices, and then deceptively refund a significant portion of that price back to PBMs through things called rebates, discounts, credits, and administration fees. 

Tyrone's Commentary:

I've been teaching and writing about how non-fiduciary PBMs engage in self-dealing for 9.5 years. Check the first blog post. Some of my readers have become clients others were dismissive. Are you listening now? The amount of money some PBMs are printing, based primarily on predatory behavior, is wrong. Don't be the last one to the party. Overpayments to PBMs isn't just about money. These overpayments impact the level of care patients receive - health care outcomes. Don't wait another decade before you take decisive and corrective action.

They [PBMs] also switch medications within their formularies to suit their pricing scheme to the detriment of diabetics relying on those drugs the lawsuit alleges. This practice has resulted in record profits for Defendants at the expense of diabetics and payors. 

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