HARRISBURG, PA (June 2, 2004) – Pennsylvania State Attorney General Jerry Pappert today announced that checks totaling more than $272,000 will be released to Pennsylvanians who submitted claims for purchases of the cancer-fighting drug Taxol or its generic equivalent Paclitaxel.
Pappert said the funds are part of an overall $62.5 million multi-state settlement with New York-based drug manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squibb, to resolve alleged antitrust, consumer protection and unfair competition laws. The national consumer reimbursement portion of the settlement was $12.5 million. The settlement also required reimbursement to state Medicaid and other programs that purchased the drugs, plus funds to the states for the treatment of lower income cancer patients.
In June 2002, Attorneys General from all 50 states and the U.S. Territories accused Bristol-Myers Squibb of manipulating the patent process to keep the cheaper, generic version of Taxol off the market. The states’ lawsuit claimed that BMS fraudulently obtained patents that would extend its monopoly on the drug.
“In Pennsylvania, the average consumer paid several hundred dollars more per treatment for these drugs than necessary,” Pappert said. “Our resolution to this case reimburses the victims and stops the drug company from engaging in a practice that overcharged the seriously ill.”
Nationally, 12,723 consumers will recover more than $7.2 million.