Pfizer will give $107,000 to Colorado to settle lawsuit over failed coupons
About 1,500 Coloradans will receive a refund from Pfizer after the pharmaceutical company failed to honor coupons for three medications, according to the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.
Pfizer has come to a settlement in the matter after lawsuits were filed by four states including Colorado. The company has agreed to refund just over $107,000 to Colorado, awarding about $71 per person to consumers in the state.
From about 2014 to 2018, Pfizer offered copayment coupons to assist patients with out-of-pocket costs for a drug, which treats moderate to severe symptoms related to menopause. Two other Pfizer drugs with copayment coupons were also part of the settlement.
The coupons in question stated that consumers would “pay no more than” a certain price, according to the AG’s news release. An investigation by the Colorado Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Section found that hundreds of patients paid more than the amount on the coupons.
The coupons included small-print terms and conditions, which listed a cap on potential savings and noted that out-of-pocket expenses could exceed the “pay no more than” amount listed, but those terms were not listed clearly, thereby violating the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, the release said.
“Many Coloradans use coupons from drug makers to access and pay for high-cost medications. The Colorado Consumer Protection Act protects consumers from misleading practices, like those of drug companies issuing these coupons but not following through on their promises,” said Phil Weiser, attorney general, in the release. “We will continue to prioritize fair treatment for Colorado consumers and hold companies like Pfizer accountable for not living up to their promises or hiding critical terms in hard-to-read fine print.”
Pfizer will also pay $30,000 to the AG’s office to reimburse state costs and attorneys’ fees. Part of the payment will also be used for future consumer fraud, consumer credit or antitrust enforcement, consumer education, or public welfare purposes.
The refund to Colorado consumers will be in the form of a check, mailed within the next four months along with a letter explaining the settlement. Neither the Attorney General’s Office nor Pfizer will ask consumers for their personal information or bank account details.
Colorado collaborated with Vermont, Arizona, and Kansas in reaching the settlement.
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