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Hagens Berman: Eleven Defendants Settle in Average Wholesale Price Litigation

Two major defendants - AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squib - not part of


BOSTON, March 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Today eleven major pharmaceutical companies, including Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) and Watson Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: WPI), agreed to a $125 million nationwide settlement in the average wholesale price (AWP) litigation filed in 2002 by consumers and insurance companies, which claimed the defendants intentionally inflated reports of the average wholesale prices on certain prescription drugs.

The published AWP is used to set the price that consumers making Medicare Part B co-payments and Medicare pay for the drug, as well as insurance companies and other third-party payors. The lawsuit contends that consumers and third-party payors paid more than they should because of the drug companies' false AWP reporting.

Seattle-based Hagens Berman, co-lead counsel in the case, announced today's settlement which includes branded and generic drugs used primarily in the treatment of cancer, HIV and other serious illnesses. Under the terms of the settlement 82.5 percent of the settlement fund is designated for third-party payors' claims and the remaining 17.5 percent is designated for consumer claims.

"This is a very good settlement for third-party payors and consumers," said Steve Berman, Hagens Berman managing partner. "The battle isn't over yet, but every settlement signifies that our claims are just and these drug companies have many years of damage to repay to drug purchasers."

The defendants included in today's settlement are Abbott Laboratories, Amgen Inc., Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc., Hoechst Marion Roussel, Baxter Healthcare Corp., Baxter International Inc., Bayer Corporation, Dey, Inc., Fujisawa Healthcare, Inc., Fujisawa USA, Inc., Immunex Corporation, Pharmacia Corporation, Pharmacia & Upjohn LLC, Sicor, Inc., Gensia, Inc., Gensia Sicor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and ZLB Behring, L.L.C.

Drugs covered in this settlement include Aranesp, Epogen, Neupogen, Neulasta, Anzemet, Ferrlecit and Infed.

Medicare Part B recipients eligible to participate in the settlement will receive a mailing outlining claim procedures. The class includes anyone who reimbursed any portion of an insured's Medicare Part B co-payment between Jan. 1, 1991 through Jan. 1, 2005 or those who made reimbursements outside of Medicare Part B for any of the named drugs from Jan 1, 1991 through March 1, 2008. The court will hold a final hearing to approve all settlement details.

Other settlements in the AWP case came in August of 2006 when GlaxoSmithKline agreed to a nationwide $70 million settlement and May of 2007 when AstraZeneca agreed to a $24 million settlement to Medicare Part B Zoladex users nationwide. After a trial, the court in November 2007 ordered AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb to pay nearly $14 million to insurance companies and consumers in Massachusetts for the companies' roles in unfair trade practices.

The court is expected to set a trial date for remaining claims against AstraZeneca and BMS on behalf of insurance companies and consumers outside of Massachusetts.

About Hagens Berman

Hagens Berman, formerly Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, is based in Seattle with offices in Chicago, Cambridge, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Francisco. Since 1993, it has developed a nationally recognized practice in class-action and complex litigation. Among recent successes, HBSS has negotiated a $300 million settlement in the DRAM memory antitrust litigation; a $340 million recovery on behalf of Enron employees; a $150 million settlement involving charges of illegally inflated charges for the drug Lupron, and served as co-counsel on the Visa/Mastercard litigation which resulted in a $3 billion settlement, the largest anti-trust settlement to date. HBSS served as counsel in a $850 million Washington Public Power Supply settlement and represented Washington and 12 other states against the tobacco industry that resulted in the largest settlement in history. For a complete listing of HBSS cases, visit


Steve Berman (206) 623-7292

Hagens Berman

Mark Firmani (206) 443-9357

Firmani + Associates Inc.

SOURCE Hagens Berman
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