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City of Rockford Vows to Fight on After Bankruptcy Court Stays Litigation Against Express Scripts

·2-min read

On November 23, the Delaware Federal Court handling the Mallinckrodt bankruptcy issued a sweeping injunction, putting a stay on Rockford’s lawsuit against Express Scripts for its role in an unlawful pricing scheme.

In 2015, two children of employees of the City of Rockford were diagnosed with rare infant epilepsy disorders. The most effective treatment of this life endangering condition has been the drug H.P. Acthar Gel, which cost just $40 a vial in 2001. By 2015, Mallinckrodt had conspired with the pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts to raise the price to more than $34,000 per vial. Mallinckrodt now charges more than $46,000 per vial, an increase of more than 100,000% since 2001.

In April 2017, Rockford sued Mallinckrodt and Express Scripts for antitrust violations. Rockford’s lawsuit seeks to return more than $10 billion to other cities, counties, and health plans who are part of the City’s lawsuit. In the beginning of October of this year, Mayor McNamara provided a statement to the US House Oversight Committee assisting its investigation of Mallinckrodt. The Oversight Committee’s 42-page report found that without significant structural reforms companies like Mallinckrodt will continue to raise prices on critical lifesaving medications.

Two weeks later Mallinckrodt filed for bankruptcy to avoid Rockford’s lawsuit. Immediately Mallinckrodt sought to stay Rockford’s case against Express Scripts, even though the alleged unlawful conduct is continuing to this day.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara says, "We may lose a battle or two in this fight for justice for our hard-working citizens, but we will win the war against Mallinckrodt and Express Scripts to stop them from getting rich by inflating the price of life-saving drugs."

"It is a travesty of the justice system that a bad drug company, like Mallinckrodt, could run to bankruptcy court for protection to avoid having to face the patients and payors it has defrauded for years," said Don Haviland, Rockford’s litigation counsel. In the bankruptcy proceeding, Rockford’s lawyers uncovered that Mallinckrodt has not changed the way it is doing business with respect to Acthar. Mallinckrodt has not altered either its pricing or marketing of Acthar, which Rockford and others have sued over. Now, Mallinckrodt has succeeded in staying the claims against its co-conspirator, Express Scripts.

Haviland vowed to continue to fight for the rights of patients and payors for fair pricing for Acthar Gel. "The Court’s injunction against Express Scripts only means that justice will be further delayed another 9 months, but we will be ready to try our cases against Express Scripts this time next year," he said.

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Laura Maher, Strategic Communications Manager
Phone: 779-348-7331