Cases & Deals

Celgene wins complete defense verdict in case filed by health insurer, Humana Inc., relating to off-label use of cancer medications

Clients Celgene Corporation

On March 2, 2023, Jones Day prevailed in a five-week jury trial on behalf of Celgene Corporation in a lawsuit brought by health insurance company Humana, Inc. Humana filed the case in Pike County Circuit Court in Pikeville, Kentucky, seeking damages from Celgene for off-label prescriptions of Celgene's medications Thalomid® and Revlimid®—which were widely prescribed off-label to treat various cancers and other conditions. Humana asserted that Celgene caused doctors to write these off-label prescriptions through purportedly improper promotional efforts, sponsorship of clinical trials, and actions that allegedly corrupted doctors' decision-making. Humana sought $739 million in compensatory damages and up to $6 billion in punitive damages for the off-label prescriptions that it covered from 2000-2018. Humana asserted causes of action for fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent omission, breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and violations of New Jersey's RICO statute.

Prior to trial, Humana dismissed its breach of contract and fraudulent inducement claims and the Court granted Celgene's motion for summary judgment on the New Jersey RICO claims.

The trial in the Kentucky action began on January 30, 2023, and involved testimony from 32 witnesses, including 13 expert witnesses some of whom were leading oncologists from across the United States. After five weeks of trial, the jury deliberated for less than two hours before finding in favor of Celgene on all of the causes of action before it. Humana's unjust enrichment claim remains pending before the Court.

Humana Inc. v. Celgene Corp., No. 18-CI-00617 (Pike Cty. Cir. Ct., Ky.)