Heart Patients Who Bought Cardizem Cd To Receive Checks In Antitrust Settlement

July 22, 2005

Attorney General Steve Rowe announced today that a settlement agent is cutting checks totaling more than $82,000 to 264 Maine heart patients who purchased the drug Cardizem CD at a price that was inflated by corporate practices that violated the antitrust laws.

The distribution is the result of a 2003 settlement in a case brought by Maine and many other states 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 required consumers, health insurance companies, and the government to purchase the higher priced, brand-name version of the drug for at least an extra year.

Nationwide, the distribution will compensate more than 76,000 individual consumers who bought Cardizem between 1998 and 2004. 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.

A distribution to third party purchasers of the drug will begin later this year. In addition, approximately $4.5 million will be distributed among the states to reimburse certain government purchasers, including state Medicaid programs, for their damages.

Further details are available on the settlement administration's website, http://www.cardizemsettlement.com.