Cleveland sues CVS, Eli Lilly and Evernorth over insulin prices

In a 155-page lawsuit, Cleveland leaders accused numerous retail pharmacies, drugmakers and pharmacy benefit managers of hiking insulin prices that they said cost the city millions of dollars, according to court documents. 

The defendants are drugmakers Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi-Aventis; PBM Evernorth Health; Express Scripts and its subsidiaries Medco Health Solutions and Esi Mail Pharmacy Services; CVS Health and CVS Caremark; and UnitedHealth Group and its businesses Optum, OptumRx and OptumInsight.

The city filed the suit July 24. 

"Diabetics need insulin to stay alive," Cleveland officials said in a news release. "The defendants exploit this reality to guarantee their price-fixing scheme, making insulin unaffordable to individuals and resulting in exorbitant costs for prescription benefit sponsors like the city of Cleveland."

A CVS spokesperson called the case "baseless" and an Eli Lilly spokesperson said it was "meritless." Evernorth did not respond to Becker's request for comment.

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