AG Advises Mainers On Antidepressant Remeron To Make Claims For Reimbursement Of Out-Of-Pocket Costs

March 24, 2005

Attorney General Steve Rowe today advised Mainers who took the prescription antidepressant Remeron or its generic equivalent mirtazapine between June 15, 2001, and January 25, 2005, to submit claim forms for possible refunds. Consumers may file claims online at Paper claim forms can be requested by calling toll free 1-866-401-6807. Online claims must be filed and paper claims must be postmarked by June 13, 2005. The address for returning paper forms is: Remeron Antitrust Settlement, c/o Complete Claim Solutions, Inc., P.O. Box 24769, West Palm Beach, Florida 33416.

Maine joined other states in settling a lawsuit against Organon USA, Inc. and its parent company Akzo Nobel N.V. alleging improper monopolization of the U.S. market for Remeron and mirtazapine. The lawsuit alleged that Organon unlawfully extended its monopoly by improperly listing a new "combination therapy" patent with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The suit also alleged that Organon delayed listing the patent with the FDA in another effort to delay the availability of lower-cost generic substitutes. This resulted in higher prices to those who paid for the drug. At its peak, Remeron was the Organon's top-selling drug with annual sales in excess of $400 million. The companies will pay $36 million upon final court approval of the settlement. As part of a nationwide consumer notification program, attorneys general also launched a campaign to notify consumers of the settlement and claims process through advertising in publications such a Readers Digest, Parade, and USA Today. Pharmacists and psychiatrists have also been asked to help get the word out to patients.

Mainecare and other third-party payers of drug costs will also recoup costs they incurred through paying higher prices for the drugs.

Affected consumers who do not wish to remain part of the settlement class must exclude themselves in writing on or before April 27, 2005. Information on "opting-out" of the settlement also is available at the settlement website or by calling the toll-free number.