Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Important Deadlines Near for $21 Million Class Action Settlement That Provides Consumers With Money Back for Over 200 Prescription Drugs

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Important deadlines are approaching for class members of a proposed class action settlement related to the average wholesale prices of certain prescription drugs. The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts granted preliminary approval of the Proposed Settlement in July 2008. 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.

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.) Requests to be excluded from the Settlement and objections to the Settlement must be postmarked by March 16, 2009. Consumer Class Members must file claims by May 1, 2009.

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 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.

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 April 27, 2009 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.

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