Consumer News Release
For immediate release -- Thursday, March 17, 2005.
Contact Bob Brammer -- 515-281-6699.
Purchasers of Antidepressant Drug "Remeron" May File for Payments
Attorneys General announce $36 million settlement that will provide financial relief to consumers nationwide.
DES MOINES. Thousands of consumers from all 50 states may be entitled to a cash recovery based on their out-of-pocket expenses from purchasing the prescription antidepressant drug "Remeron" and its generic equivalent, "Mirtazapine," between June 15, 2001, and January 25, 2005.
"We urge Iowans who purchased Remeron and Mirtazapine to get information and file a claim no later than June 13, 2005," said Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
Consumers may call toll-free to 1-866-401-6807 or visit the settlement website at www.RemeronSettlement.com for information and claim forms. The address is: Remeron Antitrust Settlement, c/o Complete Claim Solutions, Inc., P.O. Box 24769, West Palm Beach, Florida 33416.
Background and details:
The cash recovery program is a result of a $36 million nationwide settlement with drug maker Organon USA Inc. and its parent company, Akzo Nobel N.V., for improperly monopolizing the U.S. market for the drugs.
"The states alleged the defendants abused the regulatory scheme to stifle competition and prevent consumers from having access to low-cost, generic equivalents of the drug," Miller said.
The states' lawsuit alleged that Organon unlawfully extended its monopoly by improperly listing a new "combination therapy" patent with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The complaint also 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 for the drug. At its peak, Remeron was Organon's top-selling drug, with annual sales in excess of $400 million. (The safety or effectiveness of Remeron was not an issue.)
Iowa also will be among states receiving money for damages incurred by the Medicaid program. Recovery also is available for third-party payors, such as health insurance plans.
The settlement, which is subject to final approval by the court, will resolve both claims brought by state attorneys general and a private class action brought on behalf of a class of end payors. The matter is pending in U.S. District Court for New Jersey. Complete Claim Solutions, Inc., of West Palm Beach, Florida, is assisting the States as claims administrator for the settlement.
The States also launched a nationwide consumer notification campaign today to alert consumers of the settlement and claims process, using advertising in publications such a Readers Digest, Parade and USA Today. The states also have enlisted pharmacists and psychiatrists for assistance with notification.
Details for consumers:
Consumers wanting claim forms and more information about the settlement may call toll-free to 1-866-401-6807 or visit the settlement website at www.RemeronSettlement.com. Eligible consumers must file claim forms with the administrator postmarked no later than June 13, 2005, in order to be eligible for a possible refund. The address is: Remeron Antitrust Settlement, c/o Complete Claim Solutions, Inc., P.O. Box 24769, West Palm Beach, Florida 33416. The same deadline applies to consumers completing the form online at www.RemeronSettlement.com.
Payment amounts are expected to be a percentage of the price paid and will depend on the numbers of claimants and how much an individual claimant paid for Remeron or Mirtazapine.
Affected consumers who do not wish to remain part of the settlement class must exclude themselves in writing on or before April 27, 2005. Information on "opting-out" of the settlement also is available at the settlement website or by calling the toll-free number. Consumers who want to receive money from the settlement should not opt out.
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