Walgreens, Kroger sue drugmakers, allege $2.8B in overcharges for diabetes med

Walgreens, Kroger and other retail pharmacy chains filed a lawsuit Dec. 2 against five drugmakers, alleging they participated in an antitrust scheme to dramatically hike the price of the diabetes drug Glumetza, according to Law360

The lawsuit is against brand-name drugmakers Bausch Health, Assertio, Salix and Santarus as well as generic drugmaker Lupin. Salix acquired Santarus for $2.6 billion in 2013. Bausch Health then acquired Salix for $14.5 billion in 2015.

According to the lawsuit, Assertio and Santarus entered into a pay-to-delay deal with Lupin in 2012 to ensure the generic drugmaker wouldn't release a cheaper version of the diabetes drug until 2016.

The deal allegedly allowed the brand-name drugmakers to hike prices, leading to $2.8 billion in overcharges. The drugmakers increased the price of Glumetza from $350 to more than $3,000 for a 30-day supply within a four-month period, the lawsuit says. The price hikes allegedly caused $175 million in overcharges every year. 

Other, smaller retail chains have previously sued the drugmakers for the price hikes, according to Law360

Read the full article here

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