Hu­mana takes aim at Mallinck­rodt's 'ill-got­ten' Ac­thar gains in law­suit

Health in­sur­er Hu­mana has had enough of Mallinck­rodt, and the drug­mak­er’s ex­pen­sive, con­tro­ver­sial treat­ment Ac­thar gel, which was first ap­proved for a broad range of con­di­tions by the FDA back in 1952.

Ex­tract­ed from the pi­tu­itary glands of slaugh­tered pigs, the drug is a pu­ri­fied prepa­ra­tion of adreno­cor­ti­cotrop­ic hor­mone (ACTH) — and is man­u­fac­tured es­sen­tial­ly the same way as it was when it was first dis­cov­ered in the late 1940s by the meat com­pa­ny Ar­mour, as a byprod­uct of pork-pro­cess­ing op­er­a­tions.

How­ev­er, its price has cat­a­pult­ed from $40 per vial in 2001 to a whop­ping $38,892 as of this Ju­ly. “This is a 97,500% price in­crease. It is as if the price of milk in­creased from $3 to over $2,900 per gal­lon, or a mort­gage pay­ment rose from $2,000 to over $2 mil­lion per month,” Hu­mana $HUM said in a law­suit filed against Mallinck­rodt $MNK last week.

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