PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michael Undorf, Deputy Attorney General
Phone: (302) 577-8924
Date: October 20, 2004
Attorney General Brady Announces Organon Will Pay Restitution to Consumers
Terms of Settlement Assure Better Access to Lower Cost Generic Equivalent for Antidepressant Remeron
(Wilmington, DE): Attorney General M. Jane Brady today announced completion of a proposed $36 million nationwide settlement with drug maker Organon USA Inc. and its parent company Akzo Nobel N.V. over the antidepressant drug, Remeron. Brady joined with the other 49 states and all U.S. territories to file a multi-state complaint and preliminary settlement papers in a New Jersey federal court today. Subject to court approval, Organon will pay monies that should bring financial relief to thousands of consumers and defrauded state agencies as well. A ten month state investigation, led by Texas, along with Florida and Oregon, led to this settlement which resolves claims brought by state attorneys general as well as a private class action brought on behalf of other consumers.
“The conduct of the defendants in this case prevented consumers from having access to low-cost generic equivalents of this drug. This lawsuit represents one way for us to help keep prescription drug costs lower for consumers,” Attorney General M. Jane Brady said.
The states’ complaint alleged that Organon unlawfully extended its monopoly by improperly listing a new “combination therapy” patent with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In addition, the complaint 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. With annual sales in excess of $400 million at its peak, Remeron is Organon’s top-selling drug.
Organon has also agreed to strong injunctive relief that will require the company to make timely listing of patents and prohibits Organon from submitting false or misleading listing information to the FDA.
Delaware consumers will be among consumers nationwide who can submit claims for reimbursement. If the court approves the settlement, the Attorneys General will implement a claims administration process for consumers who purchased Remeron or its generic equivalent between June 15, 2001 and the present.