Astra Zeneca and Bristol Myers Squibb Hit with Double Damages in Class Action Lawsuit

A federal judge in Massachusetts has awarded double damages in a class action lawsuit against the two pharmaceutical giants Bristol Myers Squibb and Astra Zeneca for illegally inflating the prices of physician administered drugs. According to Massachusetts law, a court can order double or even treble damages in a lawsuit against defendants for unfair and deceptive conduct if their actions are found to be “knowing and willful.” Judge Saris found that the drug companies’ conduct in inflating the prices of the drugs in question was knowing and willful, because they knew that Medicare patients and their insurers would have no choice but to pay 20% co-insurance on the “grossly inflated phony drugs.” She awarded double damages against Astra Zeneca because it “sold its drug Zoladex based on its profitability to the doctor’s office…[t]he damage to the sick and old beneficiaries was inevitable.” She awarded double damages against BMS for certain years for the drugs Taxol, Cytoxan and Rubex.