Weitz & Luxenberg is announcing a major victory in our class action lawsuit on behalf of people living with diabetes. Legal counsel for plaintiffs has helped secure a partial settlement with insulin manufacturer Eli Lilly. It is estimated to be worth more than $500 million in insulin cost savings over the next four years.
Eli Lilly has agreed to a $35 per month cap on out-of-pocket costs for class members. People who use Eli Lilly’s Humalog, Humulin, and Basaglar insulin medications are eligible for this cost limit.
As part of the proposed settlement, claimants who are not eligible to partake in the cost limit savings referenced above may be able to receive cash payments from a $13.5 million common fund. This is reimbursement for previously purchased insulin products from Eli Lilly, if they are no longer using that company’s insulin.
A Big Win for Insulin Users
Our team of attorneys worked closely with over a dozen class representative plaintiffs who overpaid for their insulin.
“This is an enormous win for people with diabetes who must take insulin to survive. Our clients have suffered significant harm due to the appalling rising costs of insulin. We’re talking about hundreds of dollars per month for some of our clients,” emphasizes W&L attorney Gregory Stamatopoulos.
“This settlement brings long-needed, overdue relief from such exorbitant costs. Our clients are extremely pleased with the outcome. They now will be able to afford their life-saving medication,” he adds.
Who Benefits from the Insulin Settlement?
The proposed settlement class includes anyone in the United States who paid any portion of the purchase price for any Lilly insulin product. This includes if the insulin was either for yourself or on behalf of a family member or dependent.
Your method of payment does not matter. The purchasing window needs to fall between January 1, 2009, up until 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.
Defendants Drove Up Insulin Prices
Along with several other firms, W&L filed a consolidated class action lawsuit in 2017 on behalf of diabetics. The lawsuit was filed against three insulin makers: Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi. The consolidated class action complaint alleges the companies systematically inflated the prices of their insulin products.
The lawsuit was filed to combat outrageous insulin price increases on behalf of uninsured individuals who had to pay out-of-pocket for their insulin; insured individuals who paid more than they would have because of co-insurance; and consumers who hit the Medicare “donut hole” because of the enormous insulin price hikes, among others.
The case is captioned In re Insulin Pricing Litigation and is pending in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (Case No. 3:17-cv-00699).
Awaiting Final Court Approval
Once the Court approves the settlement agreement, attorneys for the plaintiffs will identify potential class member claimants. We intend to obtain the necessary data from pharmacy benefit managers and seven of the largest retail pharmacy chains.
Class members will also be notified through targeted ads, in order to ensure that they are aware of the claims process, as well as any potential benefits they may be entitled to as part of the settlement.
Litigation Continues Against Novo Nordisk and Sanofi
W&L looks forward to continuing our work on behalf of insulin users as the case continues. The settlement with Eli Lilly ends six years of hard-fought litigation against one of three main insulin makers. However, our lawsuit continues against the other two defendants — Novo Nordisk and Sanofi.
Over the course of this litigation, so far, plaintiffs have filed three amended complaints and defended over 40 diabetic plaintiff depositions. Dozens of the defendants’ own employees have also been deposed.
Victory Is a Team Effort
In addition to Weitz & Luxenberg, plaintiffs in the lawsuit are represented by co-lead counsel firms Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP and Carella Byrne Cecchi Olstein Brody & Agnello P.C.; as well as Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check LLP; Keller Rohrback LLP; Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP; Nussbaum Law Group; Criden & Love P.A.; and Loevy & Loevy.