PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marsha Kramarck, Deputy Attorney General
Phone: (302) 577-5180
Date: January 9, 2003
ATTORNEY GENERAL BRADY ANNOUNCES
TENTATIVE AGREEMENTS ON DAMAGES WITH BRISTOL MYERS SQUIBB IN TWO DRUG CASES
(Wilmington, DE): Attorney General M. Jane Brady announced today that she has reached agreement regarding the financial terms which may resolve two pending lawsuits against Bristol Myers Squibb, concerning the anti anxiety drug, BUSPAR and the cancer fighting drug, TAXOL, brought by Delaware and other states.
In separate actions, Delaware charged Brisol with unlawfully blocking the market entry of less expensive generic alternatives to each drug.Under the agreement, Bristol would pay a total to all the states that filed of $100 million in settlement of claims for damages, penalties and consumer redress for its illegal conduct in TAXOL, and $55 million if the case
against Bristol for its conduct in BUSPAR is settled.The parties' agreement is subject to negotiating a successful conclusion to other outstanding issues,
including related market conduct which Bristol practiced in order to continue its monopoly. The settlements
are subject to approval by each Court where the actions are pending.
"The spiraling costs of prescription drugs is of major concern for all Delawareans, and for citizens
across the country", Brady said. "The conduct in this case added unfairly to those costs and warrants decisive action."BuSpar, the brand name of the generic drug buspirone hydrochloride, is widely prescribed
to treat anxiety and depression. Complaints filed in 2001 alleged that Bristol violated federal and
state laws by illegally obtaining patent extensions to continue its exclusive hold on the market.
Taxol is administered through infusion centers, and is used to treat breast, ovarian and other cancers.
A single course of treatment with the Bristol's branded drug cost between $6000 and $10,000, with each dose
costing over $1600. The generic version of the same single dosage may cost approximately $1200. In testimony
before Congress, Bristol acknowledged that the drug was not patentable, but it made patent claims anyway.
These unlawful claims were used to extend the time during which Bristol prevented other companies
from marketing a generic version of the drug.The parties are continuing to negotiate other terms to determine whether the cases can be settled
without further litigation.