Boston, MA: (Nov-02-07) A class action lawsuit was brought against drug giants AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb, alleging that the companies had unfair trade practices involving the pricing of drugs. The suit claimed that AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb grossly inflated the prices of a number of expensive physician administered drugs, causing a devastating impact on sick patients who were required to make payments they could not afford.
As part of a settlement reached, Judge Patti Saris ruled that AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb violated several federal norms by their unfair trade practices. She further ordered that the companies pay nearly $14 million, including a doubling of some damages against both defendants. Sources claimed that the two classes affected by the ruling include third-party payors in Massachusetts that reimbursed Medicare beneficiaries for their statutory twenty percent coinsurance, and all third-party payors and consumers in Massachusetts who made coinsurance payments based on AWP. The AWP class action suit was originally filed in 2002 in US District Court in Massachusetts. The original complaint names 23 pharmaceutical companies including, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson & Johnson. The original suit represents all people who have taken or paid for any one of 37 named drugs in the original filing. [