BCBS of Minnesota sues Vyera Pharmaceuticals, Martin Shkreli, claiming illegal drug pricing

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota filed a class-action lawsuit against Vyera Pharmaceuticals — the rebranded company of Martin Shkreli's Turing Pharmaceuticals — and its parent Phoenixus for allegedly illegally pricing its antimalarial medication.

The complaint, filed March 4 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, accuses Vyera of intentionally monopolizing the pharmaceutical market for its antimalarial drug Daraprim, only to increase prices by more than 4,000 percent. Daraprim is used to treat the parasitic disease toxoplasmosis, which can be deadly to those with HIV/AIDS, cancer or compromised immune systems, BCBS of Minnesota said.

The insurer accused Vyera, Phoenixus AG and former executives Mr. Shkreli and Kevin Mulleady of monopolizing Daraprim "through an array of anticompetitive conduct that successfully thwarted generic competition for years and continues to cause supracompetitive prices to this day," according to the complaint. Mr. Shkreli is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for defrauding investors.

BCBS of Minnesota's lawsuit was filed on behalf of third-party payers in more than 30 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, according to a news release. It seeks an undetermined amount of monetary damages.

Becker's reached out to Vyera for comment on the lawsuit. This article will be updated as more information becomes available. 

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