Insulin, a life-saving hormone, plays a pivotal role in regulating blood sugar levels and ensuring the well-being of individuals with diabetes. Despite its essential nature, recent years have witnessed a sharp and unjustifiable increase in its price. In many cases, this surge is attributed to corporate greed, placing profits over those who depend on insulin for their survival.
At Estey & Bomberger, LLP, we specialize in challenging these practices and advocating for those affected by unjust pricing strategies. If you have been affected by insulin overpricing, our mass tort attorneys can represent your lawsuit and fight for your right to recovery. Schedule a free consultation at (800) 260-7197 to take your first steps toward justice.
Why Choose the Attorneys at Estey & Bomberger, LLP?
- Our law firm understands the complexities of the pharmaceutical industry. We are committed to holding corporations accountable for unjust insulin pricing and supporting patients who suffered financial burdens for their essential medication.
- The lawyers at Estey & Bomberger, LLP have a strong track record of success, securing over $500 million in verdicts and settlements in just five years. We have the skills and experience necessary to take on large pharmaceutical companies.
- Our law firm offers both compassionate guidance and relentless advocacy for those affected by insulin overpricing. We understand how difficult this financial strain can be, and we will fight for you each step of the way.
Why Have Insulin Prices Increased So Drastically?
Insulin is a crucial hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates glucose levels in the blood. It facilitates the uptake of glucose by cells, providing them with the energy they need to function. For individuals with diabetes, their body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t use it properly. In such cases, synthetic insulin is administered as a critical treatment to manage blood sugar levels.
Despite the longstanding availability of insulin—it’s been over a century since its discovery—its cost has seen a significant surge in recent times. Specifically, insulin’s list price has escalated by 600% since 2002. This dramatic increase starkly contrasts with the declining manufacturing costs and the relatively stable formulation of the drug over the years. It also exceeds the inflation rate for most consumer goods and services.
Several factors contribute to this sharp price increase.
- Patents and lack of competition allow some manufacturers to dominate the market and set high prices.
- The complex web of intermediaries in the pharmaceutical distribution chain, like pharmacy benefit managers, wholesalers, and pharmacies, can further inflate costs.
- Regulatory barriers may deter competitors from introducing generic or biosimilar versions that could potentially bring prices down.
The ramifications of these rising costs are felt deeply by those who rely on insulin. A 2022 study from Yale indicated that approximately 1.2 million Americans, or 14% of insulin users, spend “catastrophic” amounts on the drug, committing at least 40% of their post-subsistence income to its purchase.
Who Can File an Insulin Overpricing Lawsuit?
The surge in insulin prices has given rise to a wave of litigation. If you have been affected by insulin overpricing, you may be eligible to file a legal claim against these pharmaceutical corporations and benefits managers.
The objective of these lawsuits is two-fold: to seek reparation for the financial damages sustained due to exorbitant insulin costs and to curtail such pricing behavior in the future. Here’s a closer look at who can file these claims, and against whom.
Eligibility to File
Not everyone is eligible to pursue an insulin overpricing lawsuit. If you are part of a self-funded healthcare plan (whether it’s run by governmental bodies like cities, counties, and states, or by unions), or manage or oversee such a plan, and you have experienced financial challenges due to the high cost of insulin, you may qualify for legal action.
Determining eligibility can be a complex process. To learn more about your legal options, schedule a free consultation with an insulin overpricing lawsuit attorney at Estey & Bomberger, LLP.
Entities Held Accountable
Several organizations dominate and control the insulin market, including its pricing. Key entities that are being scrutinized and can be held accountable include:
- Pharmacy Benefits Managers: Commonly referred to as PBMs, these companies administer prescription drug programs on behalf of health insurers, Medicare Part D drug plans, large employers, and other payers. Three PBMs dominate the industry: Express Scripts, CVS Caremark, and OPTUMRx.
- Insulin Manufacturers: Three pharmaceutical corporations sell and manufacture the vast majority of insulin: Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, and Sanofi. Data shows that these companies together account for 99% of the market share of insulin by value and 96% by volume.
The Nature of Insulin Overpricing Claims
Insulin overpricing lawsuits are based on several allegations, particularly related to misconduct on the part of insulin manufacturers and pharmacy benefits managers. These claims may involve accusations of violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, deceptive and unfair trade practices, and unjust enrichment.
- RICO Act Violations: Lawsuits may allege that manufacturers and PBMs colluded or engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity to unjustly inflate insulin prices. Such activities could involve fraudulent practices or organized efforts to control and manipulate the market, resulting in significant financial harm to consumers.
- Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices: Claims in this category may assert that the parties involved employed misleading tactics to maintain high prices. This could encompass hiding crucial information about drug pricing, manipulating formulary designs, or providing misleading information to patients and providers about insulin costs.
- Unjust Enrichment: Lawsuits often argue that insulin manufacturers and PBMs have profited unfairly at the expense of consumers. By artificially inflating the price of insulin, these entities may have reaped significant financial gains, while patients and healthcare plan holders bore the brunt of the costs.
The Dangers of Excessive Insulin Prices
Insulin overpricing has not only strained wallets but has also significantly compromised the well-being of many diabetes patients. Delving into the impacts of these rising costs highlights a dangerous landscape of financial, medical, and emotional challenges for those requiring this essential medication.
The overwhelming cost of insulin places a heavy financial toll on its users. The need for daily administration, be it through injections or insulin pumps, inevitably leads to mounting expenses. Even those with insurance aren’t immune to this burden, often grappling with high deductibles or co-pays.
As costs spiral, many people face daunting choices, having to prioritize insulin over other basic needs. In some cases, they even compromise on their doses to manage expenses. This inevitably adds layers of stress and anxiety to their daily lives.
Barriers to Access
Insulin’s skyrocketing price has also erected formidable barriers to its accessibility. Many people find it increasingly challenging to obtain this life-saving medication, especially if they don’t have comprehensive insurance or have coverage with prohibitively high deductibles. Untreated diabetes can lead to serious complications like diabetic ketoacidosis, a grave, life-threatening condition caused by excess acids in the blood.
Severe health repercussions can occur when a person fails to take enough insulin or skips doses when needed. The role of insulin in regulating blood sugar is paramount; any mismanagement or inconsistency can spiral into poorly controlled diabetes.
As a result, people can suffer from a plethora of health problems, from nerve damage, vision complications, and kidney problems to more acute threats like cardiovascular diseases. In the gravest of scenarios, untreated diabetes can plunge individuals into comas or even result in death.
The high price of insulin, coupled with its indispensable role in managing diabetes, can lead to significant emotional distress and trauma among patients and their families. The constant worry over affording the next dose or the fear of health complications from missed doses can lead to chronic anxiety, depression, and feelings of helplessness.
Moreover, families witnessing their loved ones make dangerous compromises or suffer due to these financial constraints undergo profound emotional trauma. For those who have tragically lost family members due to complications arising from unaffordable insulin, the emotional scars run deep, often marked by anger, sorrow, and a profound sense of injustice.
What Damages Are Available in an Insulin Overpricing Lawsuit?
Insulin overpricing lawsuits aim to provide relief and restitution to those who have been unfairly burdened by the exorbitant costs of insulin. These legal actions, besides holding the responsible parties accountable, offer a range of remedies to the aggrieved. Here’s a closer look at the potential damages available.
Monetary Compensation for Inflated Pricing
One of the primary objectives of an insulin overpricing lawsuit is to provide financial relief. Claimants have the right to receive compensation for the excessive amounts they’ve paid due to artificially inflated insulin prices.
This type of remedy aims to prevent future harm by stopping the ongoing insulin pricing scheme. By obtaining an injunction against a PBM or pharmaceutical manufacturer, the courts can ensure that self-funded plans and their members are safeguarded from being subjected to such unjust pricing in the future.
Disgorgement of Illicit Profits
To ensure that unjust enrichment is curbed, the courts may order PBMs and insulin manufacturers to give up the profits they’ve unfairly earned from the overpricing. This step is crucial to ensuring that entities do not benefit from deceptive or unjust business practices.
Beyond compensating for financial losses, punitive damages are meant to penalize wrongdoers for their misconduct. By imposing punitive damages, the courts aim to send a clear message, condemning the behavior and seeking to prevent such actions in the future. In an insulin overpricing lawsuit, punitive damages may be levied to prevent these corporations from engaging in these harmful pricing practices.
How Long Do You Have to File an Insulin Overpricing Claim?
The time frame within which you must file an insulin overpricing claim, known as the statute of limitations, varies considerably across states. Given these differences, it is imperative to consult a lawyer at the earliest opportunity.
If you fail to file within the allowable period, the court may consequently dismiss your claim, leaving you without the chance to seek justice or compensation. An attorney from Estey & Bomberger, LLP can help identify your appropriate deadline and initiate your lawsuit before the statute of limitations passes.
Benefits of Hiring an Insulin Overpricing Lawsuit Attorney
If you or your organization has been impacted by the inflated prices of insulin, seeking representation from an attorney who specializes in this legal area can prove invaluable. An attorney from Estey & Bomberger, LLP can guide you through the complexities of an insulin overpricing lawsuit, providing critical benefits every step of the way.
Expertise in Pharmaceutical Litigation
Our attorneys possess specialized knowledge in pharmaceutical litigation. We have a deep understanding of the intricacies surrounding insulin pricing and the pharmaceutical industry’s dynamics. This expertise helps us adeptly navigate the challenges of such a lawsuit, from collecting relevant evidence to contesting powerful corporations.
Many insulin overpricing cases involve negotiations with large companies and their extensive legal teams. In these situations, having a skilled negotiator on your side is crucial. Our lawyers have extensive experience at the negotiating table; during every discussion with pharmaceutical corporations and PBMs, we will ensure that your best interests are front and center.
Access to Resources and Networks
A lawsuit of this magnitude requires an array of resources. From medical experts to economic analysts, Estey & Bomberger, LLP has an established network of professionals who can provide critical insights into your case. Our comprehensive approach makes sure that every facet of your claim is backed by authoritative evidence.
Dedication to Accountability
By filing an insulin overpricing lawsuit, you are not just seeking compensation; you are also holding powerful entities accountable for their actions. Estey & Bomberger, LLP is dedicated to making sure that those responsible for insulin overpricing are brought to justice. We want to prevent future patients and organizations from facing similar hardships, and we will use this dedication to build a compelling case in your favor.
Contact Estey & Bomberger, LLP for a Free Consultation
Have you been affected by excessive insulin pricing? The attorneys at Estey & Bomberger can help you seek justice. We offer free, no-obligation case consultations where our lawyers will carefully evaluate your case and help you understand your potential avenues to compensation.Contact us at (800) 260-7197 or fill out our online contact form to discuss your legal options and plan your next steps.