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5/22/2001

Settlement Plan Approved for Lorazepam, Clorazepate Overcharges

Cheryl A. Thompson

A U.S. District Court has given preliminary approval to a plan that would settle the lawsuit brought against Mylan by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the attorneys general for the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The lawsuit alleged that the company monopolized the generic lorazepam and clorazepate markets by depriving competitors of access to the bulk active ingredients. In early 1998, FTC stated, the company raised prices for these products over the 1997 prices by 2000% to 3000% over the 1997 prices after entering into exclusive licenses with the overseas manufacturer that formerly supplied Mylan and most of its competitors with bulk lorazepam and clorazepate.

According to the proposed settlement, Mylan will pay $100 million to a fund to compensate patients and state agencies, including Medicaid programs, that paid the increased prices for the two products.

Consumers who bought generic lorazepam or clorazepate at any time from January 1, 1998, through December 31, 1999, may file a claim for reimbursement. The proposal aims to compensate eligible consumers for 60% of their purchases of lorazepam and 70% of their clorazepate purchases. The claim form and additional information on the settlement process can be obtained by calling 800-899-5806 or visiting www.agsettlement.com. Consumers must have their claims postmarked by September 29, 2001.

A final hearing to approve the proposed settlement is scheduled for November 29.