Federal District Court Judge Expected to Rule on Intra-class Conflict Between Payers and Individual Patients in EpiPen MDL

Federal District Court Judge Expected to Rule on Intra-class Conflict Between Payers and Individual Patients in EpiPen MDL

In the multi-district litigation (MDL) against EpiPen manufacturers now underway in the U.S. Court for the District of Kansas, Judge Daniel D. Crabtree now confronts two critical issues common to the EpiPen litigation, the insulin pricing litigation, and other drug pricing class actions currently pending in state and federal courts. The primary issue is a direct conflict between the two plaintiff groups that comprise the joint plaintiff class now proposed by Plaintiffs’ counsel in the EpiPen case: individual patients and third-party payers (including health insurers). Secondary to the issue of conflict are apparent ethical breaches by Plaintiffs’ attorneys who seek to represent individual patients on matters related to the pricing of rebated brand drugs while protecting the conflicting interests of former and current payer clients.

T1DF has been closely interested in the EpiPen litigation because a ruling on this issue of conflict could revive T1DF’s campaign to open a concurrent litigation track against insurers regarding heavily rebated insulin and other diabetes pharmaceuticals. In order to proceed with litigation, T1DF must terminate a tolling agreement signed between the insulin litigation plaintiffs’ counsel and third-party payers. Judge Crabtree has signaled that the question of intra-class conflict brought to the Court’s attention by T1DF in January and June letters may have some merit. T1DF’s policy director Charles Fournier was present at the EpiPen MDL class certification hearing held on June 12 (Phase 2) in Kansas City. At that hearing, Judge Crabtree publicly raised the multi-billion-dollar question: Are insurers and other third-party payers co-victims, with patients, of a rebate-driven scheme to inflate EpiPen prices? Or are payers instead co-conspirators in the wrongful conduct they allege against manufacturer Defendants?

Read More

T1DF president files motion in support of PBM/insurer track in the insulin class action

T1DF president files motion in support of PBM/insurer track in the insulin class action

On Friday, April 6, 2018, T1DF president Julia Boss, as an individual pro se plaintiff, challenged the attempt by several class action law firms, led by Steve Berman and James Cecchi, to curtail the right of people with type 1 and other insulin-dependent diabetes to seek immediate relief from alleged insurer and PBM co-conspirators. She asked the Court to rule on establishing a concurrent litigation track against insurers/PBMs. Such a ruling would create a dual-track process similar to that already existing in the ongoing EpiPen litigation.

This brief, filed in New Jersey federal court (Civil Action No. 17-699-BRM-LHG) supports the previously filed Motion for Reconsideration of the Consolidation Order (Dkt. Entry 89) and responds to the opposition brief (Dkt. Entry 133) filed on April 2, 2018, by interim co-lead counsel and all law firms supporting their manufacturer-only litigation strategy, including Hagens Berman, Keller Rohrback (T1DF's former counsel retained in February 2017 to establish a PBM/insurer track), Weitz & Luxenberg, and Carella, Byrne, Cecchi, Olstein, Brody & Agnello (concurrently representing Novo Nordisk's shareholders) and Berman Tabacco. 

Read More