January 27, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
ANNOUNCES $80 MILLION SETTLEMENT WITH
MAKERS OF POPULAR HEART MEDICATIONCARDIZEM
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced a proposed settlement today
for $80 million involving the popular heart medication Cardizem
CD. The 50-state settlement resolves an antitrust lawsuit filed
by Maryland and the other State Attorneys General against Aventis
Pharmaceuticals Inc., Andrx Corporation and affiliated entities.
Attorney Generals office alleged that Aventis and Andrx illegally
agreed that Andrx would not bring a less expensive generic version
of the one-a-day drug Cardizem CD to market in return for Aventis
paying Andrx nearly $90 million. Delays in bringing the generic
drug to market, the lawsuit alleged, resulted in higher prices for
settlement should serve as a warning to the big prescription drug
companies," Attorney General Curran stated. "If you illegally
conspire to keep less expensive medications out of the hands of
consumers, you will be challenged in Maryland."
the settlement, Aventis and Andrx must pay $80 million into a fund
that will compensate consumers, state agencies, and insurance companies
who overpaid for Cardizem CD and its generic equivalents between
1998 and January 2003. It is estimated that Maryland purchasers
of Cardizem are entitled to approximately $400,000 in payments as
a result of the overcharges. In addition, the Maryland Medicaid
Agency will receive a payment of $20,000. This settlement is in
addition to a $110 million settlement reached earlier between the
companies and drug wholesalers involving the same alleged violations.
In total, the drug companies will be required to pay over $190 million.
proposed settlement was filed today with U.S. Federal District Court
Judge Nancy Edmunds in Detroit and requires approval from the court
to become effective. If approved, Attorney General Curran will implement
a claims administration process this summer for consumers who purchased
Cardizem CD or its generic equivalent at any time between January
of 1998 and January 2003.
Consumers may file claims at the Cardizem settlement website: www.cardizemsettlement.com
or call toll-free 1-800-372-2406. Claims filing deadline is Sept.