PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marsha Kramarck
Deputy Attorney General
Phone: (302) 577-5180
Date: January 27, 2003
ATTORNEY GENERAL BRADY ANNOUNCES
SETTLEMENT IN LAWSUIT OVER CARDIZEM CD
(Wilmington, DE): Delaware Attorney General M. Jane Brady today announced a proposed settlement involving the popular heart medication Cardizem CD. The settlement, totaling $80 million, includes all fifty states, and resolves an antitrust lawsuit filed by multiple state Attorneys General against Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc. ("Aventis"), Andrx Corporation ("Andrx") and affiliated entities.
In the lawsuit, Aventis and Andrx are alleged to have engaged in an illegal agreement whereby Andrx was paid nearly $90 million to halt its effort to market its less expensive generic version of the drug Cardizem CD. In 1998 and 1999, consumers paid approximately $400 per year more than they would have paid if generic versions of the drug had been on the market sooner.
This settlement marks the first time that consumers will receive direct compensation in a generic drug case. The average consumer may recover approximately 20% of unreimbursed Cardizem expenses, during a 14 month period in 1998-1999.
"These companies unfairly charged high prices to patients and providers. I am pleased we have been able to recover the overpayments for those consumers," said Attorney General Brady.
Under the settlement, Aventis and Andrx are required to pay $80 million into a fund that will compensate consumers, state agencies and insurance companies who overpaid for Cardizem CD and its generic equivalents between 1998 and 2002. The settlement is in addition to a $110 million settlement reached earlier between the companies and drug wholesalers involving the same alleged violations. The State of Delaware will receive twenty thousand dollars in addition to any amounts paid to consumers.
The proposed settlement was filed today with U.S. Federal District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds in Detroit and requires approval from the court in order to become effective. If approved, a claims administration process will be instituted, for consumers who purchased Cardizem CD or its generic equivalent at any time between January of 1998 and January 2003.