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AmerisourceBergen Misdiagnoses for Immunoglobulin Sales Class Action

The allegations made in this complaint are startling: that companies paid a doctor to misdiagnose patients “for the purpose of increasing sales” of the companies’ expensive immunoglobulin (IVIG) to increase their profits. The companies are a related group: I.g.G. of America, Inc. and IHS Acquisition XXX, Inc. are units of US Bioservices Corporation, which itself is a unit of AmerisourceBergen Corporation. The four together call themselves AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group. 

The class for this action is all persons who were prescribed immunoglobulin (IVIG) by Felix Brizuela, DO, between April 3, 2012 and March 19, 2015 and who were directed to get the IVIG from defendants AmerisourceBergen, US Bioservices, I.g.G. of America, and IHS Acquisition XXX.

The complaint claims that the companies hired an executive account manager and a director of sales to sell IVIG in Monongalia County, West Virginia, and that those two parties target doctors, including Felix Brizuela, to prescribe IVIG and recommend the companies’ IVIG specifically.

How does this seemingly small-scale operation profit the companies? The complaint cites three ways:

  • In many instances, persons prescribed IVIG will continue to take IVIG for the rest of their lives.
  • IVIG is expensive for the patient and profitable for the companies.
  • The companies were able to under-report and underpay commissions on IVIG sales, which increased their own profits.

For example, plaintiff Frances Post was prescribed infusions of IVIG every two weeks. She was initially charged $8,758.29 for each infusion, but over a period of a year, the company raised the price to “10,450.44 per infusion. However, the complaint alleges, she did not in fact have CIPD, the medical condition that would require treatment with IVIG.

Also, the complaint says, the companies “so aggressively incentivized bonus commissions to its sales executives to book IVIG transactions that some sales executives earned an IVIG quarterly bonus in excess of $900,000.00.”

Brizuela, the complaint alleges, was paid on a quarterly basis for increasing the number of new IVIG transactions for the companies. He was diagnosing patients with CIPD at a rate the complaint calls “exponentially higher than any rate published in peer review studies, higher than any other prescribers,” while his documentation did not support the IVIG transactions.

IVIG infusions are not harmless. The complaint says, “Side effect rates for IVIG are high and include extreme fatigue, malaise, fever, nausea, vomiting, all described as flu[-]like symptoms, headaches, blood pressure changes, and tachycardia.” This interferes with patients’ ability to tend to the necessities of their daily lives. And that’s not all: “IVIG is associated with acute renal failure, thromboembolic events, aseptic meningitis, neutropenia, and skin reactions, among other risks.”

The complaint alleges negligence, personal injury, civil conspiracy, and fraudulent concealment, among other things. 

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

AmerisourceBergen Misdiagnoses for Immunoglobulin Sales Complaint

April 8, 2019

The allegations made in this complaint are startling: that companies paid doctors to misdiagnose patients “for the purpose of increasing sales” of the companies’ expensive immunoglobulin (IVIG) to increase their profits. The companies are a related group: I.g.G. of America, Inc. and IHS Acquisition XXX, Inc. are units of US Bioservices Corporation, which itself is a unit of AmerisourceBergen Corporation. The four together call themselves AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group. 

amerisourcebergen_ivig_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

AmerisourceBergen Misdiagnoses for Immunoglobulin Sales Complaint

April 8, 2019

The allegations made in this complaint are startling: that companies paid doctors to misdiagnose patients “for the purpose of increasing sales” of the companies’ expensive immunoglobulin (IVIG) to increase their profits. The companies are a related group: I.g.G. of America, Inc. and IHS Acquisition XXX, Inc. are units of US Bioservices Corporation, which itself is a unit of AmerisourceBergen Corporation. The four together call themselves AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group. 

amerisourcebergen_ivig_complaint.pdf
Tags: Medical Care, Misdiagnosis, Pharmaceuticals