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For Immediate Release
April 24, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

STATES REACH FINAL AGREEMENT WITH
BRISTOL MYERS-SQUIBB

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that a final resolution with Bristol Myers-Squibb Company that would settle the antitrust lawsuit involving the cancer-fighting drug, Taxol has been reached.

The State of Maryland, together with the other 49 states, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories, will recover $55 million to settle the states' claims for damages, penalties and individual consumer redress. Bristol Myers-Squibb has also agreed to strong injunctive relief for 10 years to prevent Bristol from engaging in anti-competitive conduct in the future, and has agreed to provide free quantities of Taxol to DEA-approved health care facilities, provided the recipients meet certain eligibility requirements.

A major component of the complaint was the allegation that the manufacturer unlawfully blocked the entry of less expensive generic drugs into the marketplace.

"This is a significant victory for the State of Maryland," said Attorney General Curran. "This settlement will help compensate consumers, as well as the State of Maryland, who overpaid for this drug."

The settlement was filed today with U.S. Federal District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in the District of Columbia and requires approval from the court to become effective. If approved, the Attorney General will implement a claims administration process for consumers who purchased Taxol or its generic equivalent between January 1, 1999 and February 28, 2003.

Under the settlement, the State of Maryland will also receive substantial monies for damages incurred by certain governmental entities that purchased the Taxol or its generic equivalent. While the ultimate allocation among the litigating states has not yet been determined, more than $37 million will be set aside to be divided for this purpose.

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