In the latest tussle over the cost of medicines, Teva Pharmaceuticals has filed a lawsuit alleging that a new Colorado program aimed at making epinephrine auto-injectors more affordable violates its constitutional rights.
The lawsuit was filed in response to a state law that was passed in August and requires health insurers that provide coverage for these injectors to cap out-of-pocket costs to $60 for a package of two injectors. At the same time, the law — which goes into effect Jan. 1 — requires manufacturers to make injectors available to individuals through the program, and reimburse pharmacies for their costs.
The move came several years after EpiPen — the brand-name version of these injectors — became a symbol for unaffordable medicines thanks to large and steady price hikes taken by its manufacturer. The injectors are used to combat life-threatening food allergies, but even the arrival of generic alternatives has often failed to widen access, sometimes due to high-deductible health plans.