March 7th, 2012

Consumer group sues 8 drugmakers over drug coupons

By Linda Johnson
Associated Press

Eight major drugmakers are being sued by a consumer coalition claiming the companies’ popular coupon programs, which cover much of the patient co-payment for hundreds of brand-name prescription medicines, are illegal.

Community Catalyst alleges the increasingly common couponing programs appear to save patients money but increase overall health care costs significantly and violate federal bribery laws because they’re meant to conceal information about the payments from health insurance plans.

The coupons will eventually drive up consumers’ health premiums and can cause patients to reach benefit caps quicker, according to Community Catalyst’s Prescription Access Litigation project, which has sued drugmakers over their pricing and promotion strategies.

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