By Jacklyn Wille
Pharmacy benefit managers CVS Health Corp., Express Scripts Inc., and Prime Therapeutics LLC are in the crosshairs of a new proposed class action challenging the prices of EpiPens, a common treatment for allergic reactions ( Klein v. Prime Therapeutics, LLC , D. Minn., No. 0:17-cv-01884, complaint filed 6/2/17 ).
The PBMs—which act as intermediaries between health insurance companies and drug makers like Mylan Inc., which makes EpiPens—didn’t effectively negotiate for lower EpiPen prices, the lawsuit alleges. Rather, they negotiated for “increasingly large rebates” from Mylan, which benefited the PBMs and their clients and drove EpiPen prices up by more than 600 percent over the past decade, according to the lawsuit.
More than 3.6 million EpiPen prescriptions were written in 2015, according to the complaint. This lawsuit, filed June 2 in a federal court in Minnesota, seeks to represent “tens of thousands” of people whose prescription drug benefits are administered by CVS, Express Scripts, and Prime Therapeutics. The PBMs are accused of breaching their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.