For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: October 20, 2004
Wasden Announces Settlement with Producers of Remeron
(Boise) - Idahoans and state agencies that paid for the prescription antidepressant Remeron will be able to file a claim for a refund, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced today. Wasden joined a proposed $36 million multi-state settlement with drug maker Organon USA, Inc. and its parent company Akzo Nobel N.V.
The proposed settlement was filed today in Federal District Court in New Jersey and requires court approval.
Under the settlement, Organon USA, Inc. and Akzo Nobel N.V. will compensate consumers and state agencies who overpaid for Remeron or its generic equivalent between June 15, 2001 and the present.
Approximately $10 million from the settlement will be allocated to make refunds to consumers filing claims that purchased Remeron. In addition, state agencies in Idaho will receive nearly $27,000 for the overcharges.
The process to file claims will be announced following court approval of the settlement.
"I encourage consumers who have purchased Remeron between June 15, 2001 and the present, to retain their receipts and other documentation so they can file their claims quickly and with ease," Attorney General Wasden said.
Idaho joined all the state attorneys general in this settlement. The settlement resolves allegations that Organon, USA, Inc. and its parent company, Akzo Nobel N.V., acted in violation of state and federal antitrust laws to prevent consumers from having access to lower-priced generic equivalents of the drug.
"Idahoans paid a premium price for this necessary drug," Attorney General Wasden said. "It is very important that they be compensated for prescription overcharges caused by the anticompetitive pricing practices of Organon and Akzo."
The lawsuit alleged that Organon unlawfully extended its monopoly by improperly listing a new "combination therapy" patent with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In addition, the lawsuit 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 to those who paid for the drug. With annual sales in excess of $400 million at its peak, Remeron is Organon's top-selling drug.
Organon has also agreed to injunctive relief that will require the company to make timely listing of patents and prohibits Organon from submitting false or misleading listing information to the FDA.
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