Some Tenn. Users of Buspar Drug Eligible for Refunds

July 29, 2004

Tennessee Attorney General Paul Summers announced some residents will be getting refunds after they were allegedly overcharged for an anti-anxiety drug manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

Checks were being mailed to an estimated 1,143 Tennesseans who filed claims for reimbursement after they bought the drug BuSpar. The total award for those affected in Tennessee is $655,810.61. More than $37 million in settlement funds will be distributed to residents in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the territories.

“We want to make sure Tennesseans are never charged more than they should be for medication,” Summers said. “We hope this agreement will helpcompensate those who were unfairly charged too much money.”

The multistate agreement was originally filed in 2001 after states discovered the primary defendant, Bristol-Myers Squibb, had allegedly filed fraudulent patents and entered into agreements with Watson Pharma, Inc. and Danbury Pharmacal Inc. The firms are alleged to have conspired to keep cheaper, generic versions of the drug off the market from Jan. 1, 1998 to Jan. 31, 2003. All the firms were sued by the states and ultimately entered the agreement.

Those individuals who bought the drugs were urged to file claims through the BuSpar Antitrust Litigation Administrator through a variety of advertisements and notices.

As a result, the federal district judge overseeing the BuSpar Settlement approved the payment of claims from the Consumer Settlement Fund this month.

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