HINDS COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch announced her office filed a lawsuit on Monday, June 8, at the Hinds County Chancery Court against drug manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) accused of working together to manipulate and inflate insulin prices.
“As the mother of a diabetic, I know the emotional, physical, and financial toll the unconscionable price of insulin has on families,” said Fitch. “I filed this lawsuit on behalf of every Mississippian who relies on this medication to survive. These companies are exploiting the vulnerable. I’m fighting back because you should never have to decide between paying the ever-increasing price of insulin or compromising your care.”
The complaint stated, “Mississippi has the highest prevalence of diabetes in the United States with 13.6% of its population – over 400,000 people – living with diabetes… Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, and lower limb amputations and is the seventh leading cause of death in Mississippi despite the availability of effective treatment. Over 22% of all hospitalizations in Mississippi are attributable to diabetes.”
According to Fitch, the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in Mississippi is $3.5 billion. The attorney general said the companies have raised the reported prices of their respective diabetes drugs up to 1,000 percent in the course of the last decade.
Fitch claimed he reason behind the increase is a fraudulent conspiracy between billion-dollar companies known as PBMs and manufacturer defendants. In the complaint, Fitch said the companies have violated the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act.