CHICAGO– LAWFUEL – US Litigation Announcements–Wexler Toriseva Wallace LLP (“WTW”), Co-Lead counsel in the nationwide AWP litigation pending in Boston, announces that Patti B. Saris of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts has entered judgment against Defendants AstraZeneca (“AZ”) and Bristol Myers Squibb (“BMS”). The judgment concludes a 9-week trial that ended on January 26, 2007 and resulted in a 183-page opinion issued on June 21 of this year.
Judge Saris found that the conduct of AZ and BMS was willful and knowing with regard to MediGap payors, third-party payors who reimbursed Medicare beneficiaries for their 20% coinsurance obligations under Medicare Part B. With regard to AZ, she found that “AstraZeneca ‘marketed the spread’ in a strategy that sold its drug Zoladex based on its profitability to the doctor’s office; this violated industry standards and was unethical. The evidence of marketing the spread was clear-cut and the damage to sick and old beneficiaries inevitable.” With regard to BMS, she found that BMS’s conduct was willful and knowing when less than ten percent of its sales were made within 5% of its list price, “and the spreads were huge.”
Judge Saris also entered single damages against AZ and BMS for their conduct with regard to third-party payors who reimbursed for AZ’s and BMS’s drugs outside of the Medicare Part B context.
In total, the Court entered $12,941,869.00 in damages against AstraZeneca and $695,594.00 against BMS. These amounts are for Massachusetts class members only. Plaintiffs will be moving to certify nationwide classes against AZ and BMS in 21 days.
The Court also entered judgment in favor of another defendant, Warrick Pharmaceuticals, because its unfair and deceptive conduct in inflating the AWP for albuterol did not cause any damage to the Class of MediGap payors.
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Wexler Toriseva Wallace LLP is a national leader in major class action and mass tort litigation. The firm has been instrumental in providing meaningful relief for thousands of consumers, small businesses, large corporations and health and welfare funds in litigation throughout the United States. Among the cases in which WTW is currently acting as co-lead counsel are a nationwide class action against numerous drug manufacturers challenging their publication if fraudulent Average Wholesale Prices, a nationwide action seeking recovery on behalf of individuals who have had defective versions of the Composix Kugel Mesh Patches implanted, and a class action on behalf of consumers and third party payors regarding an illegal scheme by wholesaler giant McKesson Corporation and publisher First DataBank that caused billions of dollars in overcharges for brand-name pharmaceutical drugs.
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