The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform released a 57 page report on May 18th, 2021 regarding AbbVie’s pricing of Humira and Imbruvica drugs in the United States.
Humira is a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. It generated $160 billion in revenue for AbbVie in 2020 and has a current price of $77,000 per year. The price of the drug has increased nearly 5x over its initial pricing. The Committee on Oversight and Reform reviewed 170,000 pages of internal documents from 2009 and to present, and concluded that the 470% “price increases [were] not justified”.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals faces a direct-action lawsuit from health insurer United Healthcare, over allegations Jazz conspired to delay generic competition to Xyrem. Xyrem is a narcolepsy medication.
Schneider Wallace filed on April 6th, 2021 a class action complaint against Shopify and Ledger for allegedly covering up a data breach in 2020. Plaintiffs allege Ledger and Shopify “negligently allowed, recklessly ignored, and then intentionally sought to cover up” the data breach. The complaint was filed in the Northern District of California.
Schneider Wallace represents hospital workers in a collective wage and hour lawsuit brought against Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) in October 2019. The lawsuit alleges the Colorado hospital network required nurses and other staff to work before they clocked in, work after their shifts ended, work after they clocked out, and failed to provide uninterrupted meal breaks. On March 2, 2021, U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson granted the health care workers’ motion for conditional certification, finding that the plaintiff’s complaint “provided substantial allegations that effectively forced hourly patient care employees to work unpaid overtime while off-the-clock.”
The United States Attorneys Office for The Eastern District of California released a statement that they have secured the nation’s first False Claims Act (FCA) settlement to resolve claims of fraud against the Paycheck Protection Program of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed a lawsuit alleging Endo entered into a second anticompetitive agreement with Impax in 2017, designed to prevent competition for Opana ER. The FTC had previously sued, alleging a 2010 agreement concerning the same product was anticompetitive. Endo settled that earlier matter while Impax continues to litigate before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Gilead mediation deadline delayed after Gilead fails to meet court ordered discovery deadlines. The Court previously entered an Order on August 13, 2020 stating that the court-ordered mediation should commence no later than January 15, 2021. The Court entered an Order on December 17, 2020 extending all deadlines in the case schedule by six months.
On January 15, 2021, Judge Chen accepted the parties’ joint stipulation requesting a delay in the date for the parties to commence mediation. The mediation deadline for the parties in litigation over Gilead’s cART regimen for treating HIV has been extended to June 22, 2021.
U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ranking Member Ron Wyden of Oregon launched a bipartisan investigation two years ago into insulin prices. The investigation was part of the Senate Finance Committee’s broader effort to examine drug pricing and rising costs for purchasers and taxpayers.
On January 14, 2021, the Senate Finance Committee issued a bipartisan staff report based on the findings of its two-year probe. The report details how manufacturers aggressively raised the list prices of their insulin products for decades, despite absence of significant advances in the efficacy of the drugs.
Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky announces it has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple alleging material defects in Apple’s new AirPods Max headphones. The plaintiffs allege that the AirPods Max was manufactured with a latent and material defect that causes condensation to accumulate inside the ear cups of the AirPods Max, often after only an hour of normal use.
The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court on February 1, 2021 and is brought on behalf of consumers who purchased the AirPods Max headphones.
On November 20, 2020, retailers Walgreen Co., the Kroger Co., Albertsons Cos. and H-E-B LP filed an antitrust action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York concerning Bystolic, a beta blocker drug used to treat high blood pressure that has $638 million in annual U.S. Sales. Bystolic was developed by Forest Laboratories, and subsequently manufactured by AbbVie Inc. and Allergan Inc.
The new action by the retailers joins the July 2020 class action by direct and indirect purchasers. The Bystolic litigation alleges that the brand manufacturer entered into a series of “pay to delay” settlements with generic competitors Hetero, Torrent, Alkem, Indchemie, Glenmark, Amerigen, and Watson from October 2012 through November 2013 to delay entry of generic Bystolic. These settlements constituted an agreement to delay generic entry in exchange for “side-deals”. The class period is June 2015 to the present.