Humana Sues

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“Humana filed suit Friday against more than a dozen generic drugmakers, including Teva Pharmaceutical, alleging the companies engage in price fixing.

“In the 610-page complaint, which was filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Humana says it wants to recover “egregious overcharges” it paid to cover certain common generic drugs. The insurer lists dozens of drugs in the complaint the prices of which it claims drug companies schemed to fix.

“The price-fixing “conspiracy,” Humana said in the suit, “infected the entire generic marketplace.” Prices for some drugs increased by as much as 1,000%, the insurer said.

“Among some of the drugs listed in the suit are albuterol sulfate, which is used to treat asthma and bronchitis, and tamoxifen citrate, which is used to prevent and treat breast cancer. Both are listed among the World Health Organization’s essential medicines.

“Humana also listed bumetanide, a diuretic used to treat swelling as a result of heart failure, liver failure or kidney problems and warfarin sodium, an anticoagulant used to treat blood clots such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

“Humana levels some of the largest accusations in the complaint at Teva, which by 2012 was engaging in “the most egregious and massive price-fixing conspiracies in the history of the United States,” the insurer said.

“Teva would select certain other competitors, and these drugmakers agreed to follow one another on price increases, Humana said.

“‘They 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,’ Humana said.”  Source: FierceHealthcare.



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