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Proposed Class Action Settlement Provides Consumers, Medicare Recipients, and Insurers With Money Back

Friday, September 12, 2008 General News J E 4
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BOSTON, Sept. 11 The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts has granted preliminary approval of a Proposed Settlement related to the average wholesale prices of certain prescription drugs. In the lawsuit, In re: Pharmaceutical Industry Average Wholesale Price Litigation, No. 01-CV-12257-PBS, MDL No. 1456, plaintiffs claimed that drug manufacturers unlawfully inflated the published average wholesale price of certain drugs, increasing what certain consumers and others paid. The defendants deny any wrongdoing.



The Proposed Settlement includes approximately $21.8 million for payments to consumers who file valid claims. Qualifying consumers can get a minimum of $35 by certifying under oath that they paid percentage co-payments for the covered drugs. Or, with receipts or bills for percentage co-payments for the covered drugs, they can receive more money back. For some of the drugs, the payment is up to three times the amount of the co-payment.



The approximately 200 covered drugs are used for the treatment of many medical conditions and they are often, but not always, injected in a doctor's office or clinic. The drugs include those for treatment of cancer, HIV, asthma, allergies, infections, inflammation, pain, gastrointestinal, lung and blood issues, and other conditions.



Consumers who paid percentage co-payments or full payments for any of the covered drugs between January 1, 1991 and March 1, 2008 are eligible for money back. A percentage co-payment varies with the cost of the drug; refunds are not available to those who paid flat co-payments.



Medicare recipients who paid percentage co-payments for the covered drugs between January 1, 1991 and January 1, 2005 should have already received information, including a return postcard, about this Proposed Settlement. Third-party payors who reimbursed for the drugs are also included.



"The Proposed Settlement ensures that consumers, Medicare, and insurers have the opportunity to get back some of the money they paid for these drugs," said Steve W. Berman of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, Counsel for the Plaintiffs in this case.



The Defendants, 11 drug manufacturers, deny any wrongdoing, and have stated that while they believe they have strong defenses to the claims asserted, they have entered into the settlement as a reasonable way to resolve the litigation and avoid the further expense, burden, and inconvenience that would result if they continued to litigate.



The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on December 16, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. to consider whether the Proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and the motion for attorneys' fees and expenses. For detailed information, including a list of all the covered drugs and a claim form, call toll-free 1-877-465-8136, visit www.AWPTrack2Settlement.com, or write: AWP Track 2 Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 951, Minneapolis, MN 55440-0951.



SOURCE Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
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