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Arizona Consumers to Receive Antitrust Settlement Funds

(Phoenix, Ariz. - July 18, 2005)  Attorney General Terry Goddard announced today the distribution of more than $24 million nationwide in antitrust settlement funds to consumers purchased Cardizem CD, a prescription heart medication.

Approximately 1,275 consumers in Arizona will receive approximately $364,200 as compensation for overpayment for Cardizem CD and its generic equivalents between 1998 and 2004.  Nationwide, the distribution will compensate more than 76,000 consumers.  The states’ plan to distribute money to consumers was approved by United States District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds on May 31, 2005.

A distribution to third-party purchasers of the drug will begin later this year.  In addition, approximately $4.5 million will be distributed among the States to reimburse certain government purchasers, including Arizona’s AHCCCS, for their damages.

The distribution is the result of a 2003 multi-state settlement involving all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico against two pharmaceutical companies, Aventis and Andrx.  The States charged that beginning in July 1998, Hoechst, a pharmaceutical company acquired by Aventis in 2000, paid Andrx not to market a generic version of Cardizem CD.  The delay in the availability of the generic form of Cardizem CD meant consumers, medical insurance companies and the government paid higher prices for the name brand version for at least an extra year.

Settlement details are available at www.cardizemsettlement.com.