COUPON CONTROVERSY: A consumer coalition sued eight big drugmakers, claiming their drug coupons to reduce patient co-pays are illegal and boost overall costs.
THE PLAINTIFFS: Four union health plans say coupons saddle them with higher costs for brand-name drugs by discouraging use of cheaper generics. They're seeking class-action status for many health plans.
THE DEFENDANTS: Abbott, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis and Pfizer were sued in federal court. Their trade group says coupons give patients choice and helps with rising out-of-pocket costs.