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For Immediate Release
November 20, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

DEADLINE TO FILE CLAIMS IN THE TAXOL® SETTLEMENT
EXTENDED UNTIL JANUARY 31, 2004
U.S. District Court Issues Final Approval Order In Cancer Medication Antitrust Case

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that the deadline to file claims in the Taxol® antitrust case has been extended through January 31, 2004. Although thousands of claims have already been filed, the deadline has been extended to give consumers additional time to act on their legal rights. Cancer patients or the heirs/estates of a deceased Taxol®/ paclitaxel purchaser who took the medication Taxol® or its generic equivalent paclitaxel between 1999-2003 may be entitled to money from a $12.5 million fund created as part of a settlement of a nationwide antitrust lawsuit brought by the Attorneys General of all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The case alleges that the drug makers violated antitrust laws and overcharged consumers purchasing Taxol®/ paclitaxel. Defendants have denied any wrongdoing or liability.

Concurrently, U.S. Federal District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan has issued a final approval order finding that the settlement is both fair and reasonable. The $62.5 million Settlement provides approximately $12.5 million to reimburse consumers some portion of what they paid for these drugs. Claim registrations and complete information can be obtained at www.taxolsettlement.com or by calling 1-800-659-7609.

Claims must now be postmarked by January 31, 2004. Claim forms and complete information can be obtained at www.taxolsettlement.com or by calling 1-800-659-7609.

It is estimated that as many as 400,000 cancer patients could be affected by the case. The settlement provides approximately $12.5 million to reimburse them, or the heirs/estates of a deceased Taxol®/ paclitaxel purchaser, some portion of what they paid for the drug or to reimburse insured patients for out-of-pocket costs not paid for by insurers. Individual consumers could see claims in the range of $400 - $2,600. Additionally, approximately $7.5 million worth of Taxol® will be provided to the states for compassionate care treatment of lower income cancer patients.

Taxol® is Bristol-Myers Squibb’s brand name for the cancer drug paclitaxel (also marketed as Onxol®). It is FDA approved for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, breast cancer and AIDS related Kaposi’s sarcoma. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women, with more than 211,000 new diagnoses each year. Ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cancer among women, with more than 25,000 new cases each year.

Patients who paid for part or all of their treatments with Taxol® or its generic equivalents from January 1, 1999, through February 28, 2003, are members of the proposed settlement group and can file a claim for recovery. More information can be found at the www.taxolsettlement.com or by calling 1-800-659-7609.

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