For press inquiries or to schedule an interview with the Attorney General please contact:
503-378-6002 or Jeff.D.Manning@doj.state.or.us
About Ellen F. Rosenblum
Beginning today, settlement checks totaling more than $110,000 are being mailed to 183 Oregonians who filed claims for purchases of the anticancer drug Taxol or its generic form paclitaxel as part of a multi-state antitrust case against Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. A letter from Attorney General Hardy Myers explaining the payments is with each check.
The $55 million settlement resolved a lawsuit filed against the company in June 2003 by Myers, 49 other states, the District of Columbia and US Territories. The government lawsuit alleged that Bristol-Myers Squibb used fraudulent means to delay the entry of lower-priced generic versions of Taxol into the marketplace, thereby illegally inflating the cost of chemotherapy for Oregon patients.
Oregon consumers, who paid all or part of the cost for treatments with Taxol or paclitaxel, during the period from January 1, 1999 through February 28, 2003 and who submitted valid claims by February 29, 2004, will receive at least $525. Consumers who paid the entire cost for two or more treatments will be paid $438 for each such treatment. Oregon claims represented 1.4 percent of the total 12,723 consumer claims received nationally and Oregon consumers will recover 1.5 percent of the total consumer restitution of $7,242,114 million.
During the claims period, Attorney General Myers and other states sought and received two extensions from the federal court as the claim rate for reimbursement was lower than expected. "We're happy that we took extra steps to extend the claims deadline to make sure victims received the restitution due them," Myers explained. "Our claim numbers significantly increased after more advertising and seeking the help of groups such as the Oregon oncologists to assist in locating patients that might be eligible for restitution."
For more information about the Taxol case and the claims process, consumers may wish to visit the case website at www.taxolsettlement.com or call the Taxol Settlement Administrator at 1-800-659-7609. The Attorney General's consumer hotline may be reached by calling (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392.
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