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Remeron users can seek refunds through antitrust settlement

Staff report

Nevada has joined a 50-state antitrust settlement with drug maker Organon USA Inc. and its parent company Akzo Nobel N.V. regarding the prescription antidepressant drug Remeron.

Nevadans who purchased Remeron or its generic equivalent, mirtazpine, between June 15, 2001, and Jan. 25, 2005, may be entitled to a cash recovery based on their out-of-pocket expenses.

The settlement is subject to court approval before it becomes final.

The states’ lawsuit alleged that Organon unlawfully extended its monopoly by improperly listing a new “combination therapy” patent with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition, the complaint alleged that Organon delayed listing the patent with the FDA in another effort to delay the availability of lower-cost generic substitutes. This resulted in higher prices to those who paid for the drug. Remeron, at its peak, was Organon’s top-selling drug with annual sales in excess of $400 million.

Nevada will receive monies for damages incurred by certain governmental entities, such as Medicaid, that paid for Remeron or its generic equivalent. Recovery is also available for third-party payers such as health insurance plans.

The settlement, if ultimately approved by the court, will resolve both claims brought by all 50 state attorneys general, as well as a private class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of a class of end payers. Complete Claim Solutions, Inc. of West Palm Beach, Fla., is assisting the states as the claims administrator for the settlement.

Consumers wanting a claim form and information about the settlement may call toll-free at 1 866-401-6807 or visit the settlement Web site at http://www.RemeronSettlement.com.

Claim forms can be filed online or with the administrator at the following address: Remeron Antitrust Settlement, c/o Complete Claim Solutions, Inc., PO Box 24769, West Palm Beach, FL 33416.

All claims must be postmarked or filed with the administrator no later than June 13, in order to be eligible for a possible refund.

Affected consumers who do not wish to remain part of the settlement, must exclude themselves in writing on or before April 27. Information on “opting-out” of the settlement is also available on the settlement Web site or by calling the toll-free number.