Magazine article Drug Topics

Distribution Plans Disclosed for Pricing Suit Settlement

Magazine article Drug Topics

Distribution Plans Disclosed for Pricing Suit Settlement

Article excerpt

The process of dividing up the more than $700 million that community pharmacy accepted to settle its antitrust suit against 20 brand-name drug manufacturers is under way. Notices and preliminary claim forms were set to hit the mail Oct. 27 for the independent and chain owners who are members of the class action launched six years ago. Four pharmacists have been proposed for the board that will run an $18.6 million foundation being established to aid retail pharmacies. The class action attorneys soon will formally seek 30% of the pot for fees and expenses. And on Dec. 20, U.S. District Court Judge Charles P. Kocoras will hold a hearing in Chicago on final approval of the proposed distribution plan.

Bob Gude, president of the Pharmacy Freedom Fund (PFF), advised store owners who do not receive a notice and form by Nov. 8 to write: BNPD Antitrust Litigation, P O. Box 804487, Chicago, IL 60680-4487. The toll-free number is 1-(888) 796-0100. The administrator's e-mail address is brandnamedrugs@bkbcpa.com. The four-page claim form should be filled out and mailed to the address on it on or before Dec. 15. The court warned class members against the need for hiring anyone to fill out the claim in exchange for a percentage of the settlement.

The settlement involves $697.7 million in cash, an undisclosed amount of interest, and $20 million in negotiable cimetidine certificates. Eligibility is based on retail store ownership at any time from Oct. 15, 1989, to Feb. 9, 1995.

Distribution to each class member will be on a pro rata basis: the pharmacy's purchases of brandname Rxs as a percentage of all class member claimants' brandname Rxs purchases from October 1989 through February 1995. IMS Health Services has been hired to provide the Rx data.

"The dollar value of the purchases will be determined by the volume of purchases of each relevant drug multiplied by the wholesale acquisition cost for that drug," said the court's notice on the proposed distribution plan. "The court has determined that this method is a fair and reasonable estimate of the pro rata relationship of purchases among all class member-- claimants and will save the class substantial expenses that would otherwise be incurred if each class member were required to submit its own purchase data, thereby reducing the amount available for distribution. …

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