Humana can pursue a lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the pharmaceutical giant's appeal of a lower court decision that let the insurer's suit proceed.
Filing a class-action lawsuit against Glaxo, Humana sought to recover expenses it paid for members who were allegedly harmed by the controversial diabetes drug Avandia, which has been linked to increased risk of heart damage, according to a Bloomberg article.
Glaxo already has paid more than $460 million to settle thousands of lawsuits claiming that Avandia caused personal injury. But although those agreements included reimbursements to Medicare for its costs related to treating members with Avandia-related problems, Medicare Advantage insurers can still sue to recover their costs and even seek double damages for insuring injured members under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.
In an attempt to block these lawsuits brought by Medicare Advantage insurers, including Humana, Glaxo also sued, claiming that Medicare Advantage insurers should seek compensation under state laws instead of the federal secondary payer act, Reuters reported.