TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - As a result of a 2005 settlement, almost 5,000 Florida residents will soon receive a refund for the amounts they overpaid for an antidepressant drug, says Attorney General Bill McCollum.

All 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and other territories, were involved in the settlement with Organon USA Inc. and Akzo Nobel N.V. over the prescription drug Remeron.

The attorney general offices in Florida and Texas led the investigation.

"It's an excellent day when Floridians are able to reclaim money they overpaid for necessary medical care," McCollum said. "I am pleased that we were able to reach an agreement that benefit's the citizens of our state. This settlement will certainly help relieve unnecessary burdens on both consumers and benefits services such as Medicaid."

Almost $1 million will paid to approximately 4,700 Florida consumers and public agencies.

It was alleged that the two defendants caused consumers and public entities to overpay for medications because their conduct prevented a low-priced generic equivalent of Remeron from being available.

State consumers will receive $740,000 in restitution. A copy of the settlement is here.

The $36 million settlement was approved Aug. 30, 2005. On Feb. 13, the distribution of settlement funds were authorized, and settlement checks must be mailed by Friday.

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