July 18, 2005
MARYLAND AND OTHER STATES DISTRIBUTE
$24 MILLION IN ANTITRUST SETTLEMENT FUNDS
Maryland Consumers To Receive $400,000
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the distribution
of more than $24 million in antitrust settlement funds to thousands
of consumers from all 50 states that purchased Cardizem CD, a prescription
Thirteen hundred consumers in Maryland will receive an aggregate
total of approximately $400,000 to compensate for overpayment for
Cardizem CD and its generic equivalents between 1998 and 2004.
Nationwide, the distribution will compensate more than 76,000 individual
consumers. The states' plan to distribute money to consumers was
approved by United States District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds on
May 31, 2005, after the United States Supreme Court refused on
May 23, 2005, to review judicial approval of the settlement.
The distribution is the result of a 2003 settlement in a case
brought by State Attorneys General against two pharmaceutical
companies, Aventis and Andrx. The case charged that beginning
in July 1998, Hoechst, a pharmaceutical company acquired by Aventis
in 2000, paid Andrx not to market a generic version of Cardizem
CD. The delay in the availability of the generic form of Cardizem
CD meant that consumers, medical insurance companies and the
government had to purchase the higher priced brand name version
of the drug for at least an extra year.
Curran said "This national settlement not
only brings relief to drug purchasers who overpaid for their medicine
but also aids in the effort to rein in prescription drug costs
which have been rising so rapidly."