Arizona Files Suit Alleging Drugmakers Inflated AWPs
Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard (D) on Wednesday filed suit against 42 drug companies for allegedly inflating or misstating the average wholesale price for their products, the Arizona Republic reports. The suit charges that the drug companies sometimes list prices for insurers and public health insurance programs that are as much as 7,500% more than the list price for doctors and pharmacies.
Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories, one of the companies named in the suit, lists for insurers and health programs a price of $382.14 for a one-gram vial of the antibiotic vancomycin, which is used for severe infections.
According to Goddard, the company lists a price of $4.98 for physicians and pharmacies, which could lead to providers making a profit of $377.16 once reimbursed by an insurance plan. Goddard noted that the lawsuit involves only physicians who administer medications in their offices and does not involve hospitals, which use a different price list than physicians and pharmacies.
The lawsuit, which is similar to those filed in at least 14 other states, seeks to recover damages and force the drug companies to change their practices (Hermann, Arizona Republic, 12/8).