Attorneys representing individuals living with diabetes announce class-action settlement bringing four years of insulin at a reduced price to those who pay out-of-pocket, among other benefits
Attorneys at Hagens Berman and Carella Byrne Cecchi Olstein Brody & Agnello today announced a settlement with insulin-maker Eli Lilly worth more than $500 million, culminating a class-action lawsuit on behalf of insulin purchasers alleging systematic overpricing of insulin.
“This settlement will bring immense, forward-looking relief, especially for those who are underinsured or paying with co-insurance – those most in need of assistance paying for the medications they need to live,” said Steve Berman, managing partner and co-founder of Hagens Berman and court-appointed co-lead counsel representing insulin purchasers in the lawsuit. “Those paying out-of-pocket for insulin will receive four years of insulin at a reduced price under the settlement.”
“Our experts calculate this will save these consumers $500 million in payments for their insulin over the four-year period,” Berman added.
Hagens Berman and Carella Byrne filed the first-of-its-kind lawsuit in 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The class action details several accounts from patients resorting to extreme measures to survive rising insulin prices, including starving themselves to control their blood sugar levels, intentionally slipping into diabetic ketoacidosis to receive insulin samples from hospital emergency rooms, under-dosing insulin, and taking expired insulin.
“We are incredibly pleased to culminate this important case and over six years of hard-fought litigation on behalf of millions of individuals who rely on insulin every day,” said James Cecchi of Carella Byne, co-lead counsel representing the class. “We believe this settlement will have a positive impact on the daily lives of millions of Americans living with diabetes.”
Benefits Under the Insulin Pricing Settlement
The settlement for insulin purchasers includes immense benefits for those most harmed by prohibitively high prices – cash payers, as well as the underinsured and those paying through co-insurance.
Forward-Looking Benefits: Eli Lilly will provide comprehensive affordability solutions to insulin purchasers through a four-year plan that stipulates no one will pay more than $35 out-of-pocket monthly for insulin.
Settlement Funds: For those not eligible for the first tier of relief, a $13.5 million settlement fund will be established for the class. If any amount remains unclaimed, remaining funds will be redistributed to claimants, so that funds are rightfully delivered to the class, for up to three times their claimed losses.
According to settlement documents, “Eligible Settlement Claimants can receive cash payments based on their purchases of Lilly Insulin Products during the Settlement Class Period to be calculated based on a formula set by Plaintiffs and the approved plan of allocation.”
The process for submitting a settlement claim is designed to be as simple and convenient as possible, and the settlement claim form will be available on the settlement website and can be submitted electronically once the settlement has been approved by the court.
Immediately following preliminary approval of the settlement agreement, plaintiffs plan to serve subpoenas on the six largest pharmacy benefit manufacturers and seven largest national retail pharmacy chains in the United States to obtain transactional data. Settlement documents state that most settlement claims will be verifiable through this transactional data without requiring class members to submit documentation.
Class members will also be notified directly based on this available information, and additional targeted ads will be used to ensure all eligible are aware and notified of their benefits.
The class includes anyone in the U.S. who paid any portion of the purchase price for any Lilly Insulin Product, for themselves or on behalf of any family member or dependent, no matter how they paid for it, since Jan. 1, 2009, to the date of entry of the final approval order of the settlement. The settlement references a list price, Average Wholesale Price, and Wholesale Acquisition Cost or Price. Insulin purchased exclusively through Medicaid is excluded.
During the lawsuit’s six years, the parties saw multiple rounds of motion to dismiss briefing, three amended complaints and extensive discovery, including more than 60 depositions of plaintiffs and defendants’ employees.
Hagens Berman is a global plaintiffs’ rights complex litigation law firm with a tenacious drive for achieving real results for those harmed by corporate negligence and fraud. Since its founding in 1993, the firm’s determination has earned it numerous national accolades, awards and titles of “Most Feared Plaintiff’s Firm,” MVPs and Trailblazers of class-action law. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.
Carella Byrne is one of the leading law firms in the New Jersey – New York metropolitan area, serving a diverse clientele ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations. Carella Byrne has led - or been part of the leadership team - in many of the nation’s most complex and important consumer class actions affecting consumer rights. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.carellabyrne.com.