June 18, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
SUFFERERS, OTHERS TAKING BUSPAR® MAY BENEFIT FROM MAJOR CLASS
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that patients suffering
from Generalized Anxiety Disorder and others who took the medication
BuSpar® over the last eight years are included in a proposed
multi-million dollar settlement of a nationwide antitrust class
action lawsuit brought by the Attorneys General of all 50 states,
Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A nationwide effort to
contact Buspar® consumers was launched today.
must be filed by October 10, 2003. Affected Buspar® consumers
who do not wish to participate in the settlement, must exclude themselves
in writing by October 10, 2003. Claim forms and complete information
can be obtained at www.busparsettlement.com
or by calling 1-800-678-9587.
lawsuit contends that Bristol-Myers Squibb, makers of BuSpar®
or buspirone hydrochloride, engaged in fraudulent conduct and conspired
with a potential competitor to prevent the entry of generic competitors
and illegally maintain its monopoly in the U.S. over the sale of
the drugs. Defendants have denied any wrongdoing or liability.
is a brand-name prescription medication used to treat patients suffering
from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. According to the National Institute
of Mental Health, approximately four million Americans nationwide
suffer from GAD each year. BuSpar® is also used to treat other
anxiety disorders, as well as Alzheimers Disease.
goal in pursuing this case has always been to make sure consumers
can benefit from the substantial cost savings that generic versions
of the same drug can provide," Attorney General Curran said.
"We urge consumers who may have been affected to learn more
about their rights under this settlement."
settlement provides approximately $41.7 million to reimburse consumers
some portion of alleged overcharges they may have incurred from
purchasing BuSpar® or buspirone HCI. Reimbursements will be
made only for purchases from January 1, 1998 through January 31,
2003. For the uninsured, reimbursement could include compensation
for a portion of the out-of-pocket expense of purchasing BuSpar®.
Proof of purchase or other documented history of pharmaceutical
purchases will need to be provided in order to file a claim.
alternatives would make a significant difference in the cost of
GAD treatment for many consumers. A recent study found that an average
30-day supply of brand name BuSpar® could cost approximately
$141.80 while its generic version would cost $48.46, a savings of
$93.34 a month. For insured claimants, reimbursement may include
some portion of co-payments, which are often higher for brand-name
drugs than for generic alternatives.
additional information, consumers should call 1-800-678-9587 or