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Keller Rohrback Investigates the Inflated Price of Asthma and COPD Medication Advair
Breathing is life. But for millions of Americans coping with COPD and asthma, that simple fact of life comes at a prohibitive cost.
The cost of Advair, a drug that helps asthma and COPD sufferers breathe a little easier, has skyrocketed over the past several years. The average wholesale price (AWP) of Advair* jumped from $410.17 in January 2013 to $570.38 in January 2017—an increase of 39 percent.
What is COPD? Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an inflammatory lung disease that obstructs airflow from the lungs. The two main types are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Symptoms include breathing difficulty, coughing and wheezing. COPD can make it difficult to carryout daily activities such as exercise and household chores.
What is asthma? Asthma is lung disease in which the airways narrow and swell. It can cause wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing.
How does Advair help patients? Advair works by relaxing the muscles in the airways for easier breathing. It can help prevent asthma attacks and control COPD flare-ups. Americans are paying dramatically more for this critical drug than most of the rest of the world. But why, and who is profiting?
While drug manufacturers certainly contribute to the price inflation problem, they do not act alone. Rather, manufacturers may collude with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to raise a drug’s “list price”—which the PBMs direct consumers to pay—thus reaping outsized profits from people who need drugs like Advair to stay alive.
The inflated cost of Advair, for which no medically comparable generic form is currently available, inflicts physical, emotional, and financial harm on patients and their families.
Keller Rohrback L.L.P. serves as lead and co-lead counsel in class action lawsuits throughout the country, including actions asserting RICO, ERISA, and consumer claims against PBMs. With offices in New York, Seattle, Phoenix, Ronan, Oakland, and Santa Barbara, our Complex Litigation Group is proud to offer its expertise to clients nationwide. Our trial lawyers have obtained judgments and settlements on behalf of clients in excess of $18 billion dollars.
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*Listed prices are for Advair Diskus 500-50 mcg/dose.