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Michigan NewsSeveral local governments sue pharma companies seeking affordable insulin for nearly million...

Several local governments sue pharma companies seeking affordable insulin for nearly million diabetes patients

Detroit – The City of Detroit, along with Wayne, Washtenaw, Macomb, and Monroe counties in Michigan, are initiating or planning to initiate legal action against major pharmaceutical companies over the cost of insulin. As confirmed on Wednesday, the lawsuit will target three leading pharmaceutical firms and entities responsible for establishing medication prices at major pharmacy chains, focusing on insulin pricing.

Several cities and counties in Michigan are suing companies like Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and CVS Caremark over high insulin prices

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Three big-pharma companies in the focus

The cities are suing companies like Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and CVS Caremark. They accuse these companies of working together against the law to make the price of insulin very high. Insulin is a medicine that people with diabetes need to stay alive, and its price has gone up by a lot – about 1,500% in the last 20 years in America.

Officials say this makes the medicine too expensive for many people who need it, and it also means local governments have to spend more on health insurance. Mark Bernstein, a lawyer for the cities, mentioned that the lawsuits aim to do two main things.

“One, that these defendants right here stop their disgraceful price gouging conduct,” he said. “And two, these plaintiffs, these municipalities just simply want their money back.”

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said cities and counties want to recoup those costs, and help diabetic residents now forced to ration their insulin. “I’m not looking for a check for the city of Detroit,” he said. “I’m looking for a settlement that allows all residents to be able to afford that treatment.”

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Eli Lilly just settled a lawsuit with Minnesota over insulin prices

Michigan is now seeing its first legal actions against high insulin prices, joining other states and local areas that have done the same in recent times. Eli Lilly, a drug company, just settled with Minnesota over claims they fixed insulin prices. Eli Lilly stated this agreement is part of their ongoing efforts to make insulin more affordable and accessible in America.

Novo Nordisk also mentioned they’ve cut the prices of their insulin products recently. However, they plan to strongly oppose what they believe are baseless accusations in the Michigan legal actions.

Drug companies often say the high cost of insulin is because they’re making better and more advanced insulin products. But, a lot of health experts argue that this reason doesn’t really make sense.

There are nearly 1 million people in Michigan with diabetes

Counties like Wayne, Washtenaw, Macomb, and Monroe have already taken their complaints to a federal court in New Jersey. Detroit’s Mayor, Duggan, is considering joining them but needs the approval of the Detroit City Council first.

In Michigan, close to a million people have been diagnosed with diabetes, as per the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes can develop at any stage in life, including during pregnancy, a situation that Denise Fair, head of the Detroit Health Department, knows personally.

“So I do understand how important this lifesaving drug [insulin] is, not only for me, but also for my community,” Fair said. “My son turned nine months today, and I know that if I did not have access to insulin, there could have been major problems during my delivery.

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“We need to ensure that all individuals, regardless of socioeconomic status, can have access to this much-needed medication, and meet them where they are so that they can manage their diabetes.”