Dec 3, 2019

Pharmacies sue drugmakers for overcharging diabetes pill

Generic metformin pills, which treat Type 2 diabetes. Photo: Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images

Walgreens and three other pharmacy chains are suing drugmaker Bausch Health, its subsidiaries and a separate generic drugmaker for allegedly colluding on a deal that allowed the brand-name companies to maintain a longer monopoly of the diabetes drug Glumetza. The alleged deal resulted in those companies jacking up the price of the drug from $350 to more than $3,000 for a 30-day supply.

Why it matters: When combined with similar lawsuits from employer groups, the suing parties are looking to recoup more than $10 billion in overcharges from this antitrust case — another in a long line of infamous "pay-for-delay" deals over generic drugs. Bausch has said it intends "to vigorously defend these matters."

Go deeper: Read the lawsuit.

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Generic drugmakers considering federal price-fixing settlement

A Teva plant in Israel. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

Several companies that manufacture generic drugs are talking with the Department of Justice to avoid indictments for allegedly colluding to raise their prices. They would pay fines and admit that some allegations are true, Bloomberg reports.

The big picture: These potential "deferred prosecution agreements" would only cover the federal probe, not the state-led antitrust investigation, but it could shed light on any price fixing that occurred in the generic drug marketplace.

Keep ReadingArrowNov 25, 2019

Generics wait years for Medicare coverage

Adapted from The Association for Accessible Medicines analysis; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Medicare is taking years longer than private insurance to cover some generic drugs, meaning seniors could be paying more for their prescriptions, according to Access for Affordable Medicines, a lobbying group for the generic drug industry.

Between the lines: A 2017 policy change made the distinction between generics and brand-name drugs unclear, forcing the two types to compete within the same formulary tiers, Bloomberg notes.

Go deeperArrowNov 22, 2019

More opioid companies facing criminal probes

Oxycodone pills. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Several opioid manufacturers and drug distributors are facing criminal investigations from the Department of Justice about whether they intentionally skirted federal law by not monitoring the flow of potent painkiller pills, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Purdue Pharma has already been ensnared in criminal probes, and now federal prosecutors are casting a wider net to determine the level of alleged wrongdoing that has resulted in tens of thousands of overdose deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 27, 2019