TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Eight drugmakers are being sued by a consumer advocacy group that alleges their programs offering coupons to reduce copayments for brand-name medicines are illegal.


Community Catalyst alleges that the couponing programs violate federal bribery laws because they're meant to conceal information about the payments from health insurance plans.


Such coupons generally reduce patient copayments for brand-name drugs to what they would pay for a generic drug. The group says that drives up health insurance premiums and can cause patients to reach benefit caps quicker.


The companies sued are Abbott, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis and Pfizer. They did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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