Taxol settlement funds put books in Oregon libraries

Chris Rizo Aug. 16, 2008, 11:31am

Hardy Myers (D)

SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline)-Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers said beginning this week local libraries will be receiving books and CDs on cancer care that were bought with residual funds from a multi-state antitrust settlement with Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The attorney general said 87 libraries and cancer centers replied to his letter offering the materials. Those centers and others also will receive cash grants when this distribution is completed, a statement said.

The $64,000 in national residual funds comes from a 2003 settlement over whether Bristol-Myers Squibb violated federal and state antitrust laws through its sale and marketing of the cancer-fighting drug Taxol.

In all, 30 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in filed the lawsuit against the New York City-based pharmaceutical giant.

"Oregon cancer patients and their families paid significantly higher prices for the life-saving drug Taxol because BMS acted illegally to keep the cheaper, generic version of Taxol off the market," Myers said.

"Oregonians diagnosed with cancer should be able to conserve their energy for fighting the disease and not have to worry about being overcharged for their medications," Myers added.

In 2006 settlement provided that after victims were directly reimbursed approximately $640,000 was set aside for national grants.

Then in 2007, an additional $64,000 was left to specifically "benefit cancer victims and their families.

The books and CDs being shipped this week were purchased with those funds.

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