What We're Reading: Drug-Pricing Collusion; NJ, Alaska Sue Over Opioids; Preterm Births in US

Drug-pricing collution lawsuit widens to include more companies and drugs; New Jersey and Alaska also file lawsuits against Purdue Pharma for opioid marketing tactics; and the preterm birth rate in the United States increases.

Drug-Pricing Collusion Lawsuit Widens

A lawsuit brought by state attorneys general accusing companies of drug-pricing collusion has increased the number of companies named as defendants and expanded the number of drugs.

that the lawsuit now accuses 18 companies and 15 medicines, in addition to targeting 2 individual executives at Mylan and Emcure Pharmaceuticals. The lawsuit claims the drug makers agreed on dividing up the market and sometimes on prices increases. The original complaint only targeted 6 companies and 2 drugs.

Reuters reported

New Jersey and Alaska Also Sue Opioid Maker

The list of states and municipalities suing Purdue Pharma for misleading sales tactics for opioid painkillers has grown to include New Jersey and Alaska. Both states’ attorneys general accused the company of aggressive and misleading tactics that fueled the opioid and heroin addiction crisis, reported The Wall Street Journal. Purdue is also being sued by 9 other states, and New Jersey is also suing Insys Therapeutics for marketing of the painkiller Subsys, which was only approved to be marketed to cancer patients.

US Preterm Birth Rate Increases

For the second year, the preterm birth rate has risen in the United States following nearly a decade of declines. According to STAT, minorities are suffering a disproportionate share of preterm births and rates in some parts of the United States are similar to those in undeveloped countries in Africa and the Middle East. Compared with white women, black women were 49% more likely to give birth prematurely and American Indian and Native Alaskan women were 18% more likely. Cleveland had the highest preterm birth rate of 100 cities examined.