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For Immediate Release
July 18, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

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 heart medication.

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.

Attorney General 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."

 

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