Kentucky AG sues leading insulin manufacturers

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s attorney general has sued three leading insulin manufacturers, accusing them of deceptive pricing schemes that have caused hardships in a state with high diabetes rates.

Attorney General Andy Beshear said Monday his lawsuit filed in state court seeks civil and punitive penalties. Defendants are Eli Lilly, Sanofi-Aventis and Novo Nordisk.

Sanofi says it will “vigorously” defend itself against the “meritless” allegations. Novo Nordisk says it’s reviewing the allegations but says it ensures its business practices “are consistent with legal” requirements.

The suit alleges the insulin makers violated Kentucky’s consumer-protection law with schemes to inflate insulin prices. Beshear says the defendants increased the price of insulin products at least 10 times since 2008.

He says costs to make insulin are usually less than $7 per vial, but wholesale prices have jumped to nearly $300 per vial.