Keller Rohrback Investigates the Role of Pharmacy Benefit Managers Express Scripts, OptumRx, and CVS Caremark in the EpiPen Pricing Scandal
On October 17, 2016, Keller Rohrback L.L.P. filed a proposed class action complaint in California federal court, alleging that the drug manufacturer, Mylan N.V. and its subsidiaries and affiliates, significantly overcharge patients for its EpiPen allergy shot.
The complaint alleges that Mylan N.V. and Mylan Specialty L.P. unfairly and unlawfully increased the price of its Epipen® brand epinephrine auto-injector products in excess of 500 percent over the last decade. The suit, which looks to recover overpayments, among other relief, accuses the pharmaceutical company of valuing its profits above the health needs of the public.
That complaint and others like it were voluntarily dismissed to conserve judicial resources and then re-filed in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, which appointed Keller Rohrback’s managing partner Lynn Sarko—a nationally-recognized leader in complex litigation—as Co-Lead Class Counsel. The full order also appoints Keller Rohrback partner Gretchen Freeman Cappio to the Executive Committee in this case.
Keller Rohrback’s investigation as co-lead class counsel has uncovered information indicating that Mylan may not have acted alone in its scheme to unfairly inflate the price of the Epipen. As Mylan CEO, Heather Bresch, indicated in her below-pictured testimony to Congress: insurance-industry middle-men known as Pharmacy Benefit Managers (or “PBMs”) may have facilitated the manufacturer’s scheme.
PBMs negotiate drug prices and create drug formularies that determine how much patients pay. Formularies are ranked lists of drugs that health insurers rely upon to determine how much of their members’ drug costs they will cover. Manufacturers’ sales depend on access to these enormous purchaser pools for their profits. Although the PBMs claim the rebates and other payments lower the cost of Epipens, in fact, this is misleading. The rebates and other payments decrease the cost only for the PBMs and the insurers with whom the rebates are shared, but drive up the cost for consumers.
Keller Rohrback is investigating whether the nation’s three largest pharmacy benefit managers (“PBMs”), Express Scripts, OptumRx, and CVS Caremark, have conspired with Mylan to the detriment of consumers who rely on the EpiPen to treat life-threatening allergies. If you or your employer use Express Scripts, OptumRx, or CVS Caremark to purchase Epipen® brand epinephrine auto-injector products, or would like to know more please contact a Keller Rohrback attorney by calling 800.776.6044 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.