AWP Litigation — In re Pharmaceutical Industry Average Wholesale Price Litigation
Court: United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Case No.: 01-cv-12257, MDL No. 1456
Leadership Position: Co-Lead Class Counsel
Drug prices have soared for years. One of the reasons for this is drug companies’ inflation of a benchmark called Average Wholesale Price or AWP. It turned out that AWP was neither an average, an average price, nor a wholesale price. Rather, it was an arbitrary number assigned by drug manufacturers which, through various manipulations, resulted in consumers and third party payors vastly overpaying for needed medications.
Wexler Wallace, appointed Co-Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs and the Class, initiated a wave of class actions nationwide against dominant pharmaceutical manufacturers to halt the deceptive reporting of AWPs. These cases, which were consolidated in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, alleged that pharmaceutical manufacturers such as Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Baxter and GlaxoSmithKline routinely inflated the AWPs they reported to trade publications, causing those who purchased and reimbursed for pharmaceuticals to vastly overpay.
In 2007, Plaintiffs tried the case under Massachusetts law against four Defendants. The nine-week trial, in which Wexler Wallace played a critical role, resulted in a 183-page opinion by the district court, largely finding in favor of Plaintiffs. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Plaintiffs’ verdict against AstraZeneca in all respects. Subsequently, numerous settlements were reached. All told, Plaintiffs recovered some $350 million for Plaintiffs and the class.