Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Some Oklahomans Will Share in Mylan Laboratories Settlement

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Some Oklahomans Will Share in Mylan Laboratories Settlement

Article excerpt

Some Oklahomans will be able to share in more than $1 million in restitution under settlement of a multistate price-fixing lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Mylan Laboratories, Attorney General Drew Edmondson said Thursday.

Along with a national television and print advertising campaign currently running, Edmondson's office has sent information to pharmacies statewide and is asking pharmacists to help identify the consumers of prescription drugs lorazepam and clorazepate who may be eligible for refunds.

"Point-of-sale display boards have been sent to every pharmacy in Oklahoma, along with a brochure to help consumers determine if they are eligible for a refund," said Edmondson. "We also sent the pharmacies informational inserts that can be placed in the bags when lorazepam or clorazepate prescriptions are being filled."

According to the settlement terms, consumers who paid out-of- pocket for the generic drugs lorazepam or clorazepate between January 1998 and December 1999 may be entitled to make claims for refunds of up to 70 percent of their expenditures during this period.

The attorney general's office is still investigating the exact number of affected Oklahoma consumers, Edmondson said.

The settlement, valued at $100 million nationally, was reached Feb. 1 among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Federal Trade Commission and Mylan and settled accusations that Mylan orchestrated illegal price increases for lorazepam and clorazepate, generic drugs used to treat Alzheimer's disease and other afflictions.

The states' complaint alleged violations of federal and state antitrust laws that caused the prices of these drugs to skyrocket, in some cases more than 2,000 percent.

The states claimed that Mylan's price-fixing scheme resulted in a spike in pharmaceutical prices that almost single-handedly led to a 0.2 percent increase in the May 1998 national Producer Price Index.

"Our investigation discovered that Oklahomans have been forced to pay inflated prices for these medications or go without," said Edmondson. …

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