Attorney General Andy Beshear sues leading insulin manufacturers

Insulin Bottles, Photo Date: 11/3/15 / Cropped Photo: Alan Levine / CC BY 2.0 / (MGN)
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky's attorney general, Andy Beshear, 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 says his lawsuit filed Monday 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. The other defendants did not immediately comment.

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 and monthly prices paid by Kentuckians can exceed $1,000.

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