Urges Iowans to File Claims in Prescription Drug Overcharge Cases
CD Settlement Administrator, PO Box 1675,
Faribault MN 55021-1675
Phone: 1-877-867-6133 Web: www.busparsettlement.com Mail: BuSpar Litigation Administrator, PO Box 1682, Faribault MN 55021-1682.
Taxol claims (drug used to treat especially breast cancer and ovarian cancer):
Filing deadline: November 14, 2003.
Purchase period for eligibility: 1/1/99 through 2/28/03.
Drugs involved: Taxol or its generic equivalent Paclitaxel.
Information and claim forms-
Phone: 1-800-659-7609 Web: www.taxolsettlement.com Mail: Taxol Settlement Administrator, PO Box 1667, Faribault MN 55021-1667.
-30-Background on Cardizem CD and other Drug Refund Cases Now Pending:
Cardizem CD and its equivalents are widely-prescribed, Miller said. I strongly encourage Iowans to obtain information and a claim form and submit it by the Sept. 23 deadline if they used the drug. We estimate there may be about 10,000 Iowa users of the drug, since there are about a million nationwide. If you arent sure if you use Cardizem CD, ask your doctor or pharmacist, and ask your pharmacist to help you with your usage and payment record.
In each of the refund cases the claim and payment processes have been approved by Federal District Court judges overseeing the matters (Michigan, New York, and Washington, DC, respectively, for Cardizem, BuSPar, and Taxol.) The Courts will have to approve the final distribution plans after close of the filing periods.
In each case, the States claims administrator also has done a vigorous notification program, including ads in many national publications such as Better Homes & Gardens, Readers Digest, Parade, National Geographic, Womans Day, and others.
The Antitrust Cases:
Cardizem CD: Miller said Aventis Pharmaceuticals and the Andrx Corp. together are paying to compensate consumers, state agencies and insurance companies that overpaid for Cardizem CD or its generic equivalents. The multi-statelawsuit alleged that Hoechst (a pharmaceutical company later acquired by Aventis) illegally paid Andrx about $90 million so that Andrx would not bring a generic version of Cardizem CD to market for about a year.
BuSpar: Miller said the States alleged that Bristol-Myers Squibb engaged in fraud to unlawfully maintain its monopoly and exclusive hold on the market for BuSpar. States alleged the company made false statements to the Food & Drug Administration about its patents in an effort to stop competitors from selling cheaper generic alternatives. Drug costs usually drop significantly when generic drugs come on the market. According to a report from the Congressional Budget Office in 1998, the average generic prescription price can be less than half of the brand name price.
Taxol: The multi-state lawsuit alleged that Bristol-Myers Squibb used fraudulent means to delay the entry of lower-priced versions of Taxol, thereby illegally inflating the cost of chemotherapy for thousands of patients.
In each case, Miller said the Courts also have imposed strong injunctive relief to prevent the alleged illegal activity by the drug manufacturers.
Prescription drugs are a huge business -- and one of the largest expenses for consumers and taxpayers, Miller said. Companies need to act fairly and lawfully. That protects consumers and taxpayers and makes a level playing field for all businesses.
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