For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: June 2, 2004

Idahoans to Receive More Than $84,000 for Taxol Claims

(Boise) - Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced that the Taxol settlement checks returning $84,015.00 to 139 Idaho consumers will be mailed beginning Tuesday, June 1, 2004. A letter from Attorney General Wasden explaining the payments will accompany the checks.

Idahoans who submitted claims for purchases of the anticancer drug Taxol or its generic form paclitaxel (including Onxol), will receive the refunds.

The settlement resolved an antitrust case in federal District Court for the District of Columbia in which Attorney General Wasden, joined the attorneys general of the other 49 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. The lawsuit alleged that because of invalid patents claimed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company for its anticancer drug Taxol, lower cost generic substitutes were delayed in arriving on the market. In November 2003 the federal district court approved a settlement negotiated by the Attorneys General on behalf of consumers in all the states and territories.

As a result of that settlement individuals who paid all or part of the cost for treatments with Taxol or its generic equivalent paclitaxel, during the period from January 1, 1999 through February 28, 2003, and who submitted valid claims during the court-established claims period ending February 29, 2004, will receive reimbursement of at least $525. Consumers who paid the entire cost for two or more treatments will be paid $438 for each such treatment. Nationally, 12,723 consumers will recover a total of $7,242,114.

"The delay of lower priced generic versions of the drug Taxol was an unlawful anti-competitive practice. The unlawful acts forced many Idahoans to pay more for chemotherapy treatments," Attorney General Wasden said. "I am pleased that Idahoans who purchased these drugs will receive reimbursement for the higher prices they had to pay as a result of Bristol-Myers Squibb's conduct."

Taxol and Onxol are used to treat breast and ovarian cancers in their late stages. The drugs are also sometimes used to treat lung cancer and certain cancers caused by AIDS, such as Kaposi's Sarcoma.

In addition to settling consumer claims, Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed to reimburse the state of Idaho $108,000 to settle the state's claims against the company.

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