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Aetna drops Norvir lawsuit

Aetna drops Norvir lawsuit

Just one day after filing a class-action lawsuit against drugmaker Abbott Laboratories over its 400% price increase on the HIV protease inhibitor Norvir, health insurer Aetna abruptly dropped the suit on Thursday, the Hartford [Conn.] Courant reports. The lawsuit, which had been filed by Aetna on behalf of all HIV patients who have been paying the higher price for the drug since December 3, claimed the price increase violated federal antitrust and anticompetition laws. Aetna officials didn't comment on why the lawsuit was dropped, and company officials say they plan to discuss the price increase with Abbott's leaders. Some sources told the Courant that high-ranking Aetna officials had been unaware the lawsuit was being filed and that Abbott itself is an Aetna customer. Abbott officials say they do not know why Aetna dropped the lawsuit but that the company doesn't plan to negotiate a cheaper price for Norvir with the health insurer. Abbott still faces similar lawsuits from AIDS advocacy and consumer groups and is currently being investigated by the attorneys general of Illinois and Texas over the Norvir price hike.

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