SEATTLE -- The deadline to file claims in the Taxol antitrust case has been extended through Feb. 29, 2004. Thousands of claims have already been filed nationwide, but due to a substantial increase in the numbers of claims and of claim form requests, the deadline has once again been extended to give consumers additional time to submit claims.
Millions of dollars are still available to consumers who used the cancer drug Taxol or its generic equivalent, paclitaxel, from Jan. 1, 1999 through Feb. 28, 2003.
Nationally, $12.5 million is available to consumers who paid too much for the drug. So far, about 250 Washington consumers have filed out of an estimated 3,000 who are eligible.
The money is available as the result of a settlement last year with Bristol-Myers Squibb, the manufacturer of Taxol. State investigators discovered the company grossly overcharged consumers for the drug.
Patients would have received Taxol during chemotherapy treatments for breast, ovarian lung and other cancers. A standard course of treatment can cost from $6,000 to $10,000 per patient.
Those who paid for the entire cost of Taxol treatments are eligible to receive up to $438 for each documented infusion. Those who paid some out-of-pocket expenses in addition to their insurance are also eligible for one maximum payment of up to $525. In addition, the settlement provides a certain quantity of free Taxol for patients without financial resources or insurance.
Consumers can submit claims by contacting the Taxol settlement administrator at
1-800-659-7609 or by visiting the Taxol website at www.taxolsettlement.com.