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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