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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2003
Deadline for Filing Cardizem Claims Extended


OLYMPIA - Patients who used the heart and blood pressure medication Cardizem CD or its generic equivalents between 1998-2003 now have until Nov. 15 to file claims seeking reimbursement under a nationwide antitrust settlement with two drug manufacturers.

The deadline has been extended to provide additional time to notify drug users and send them the necessary claim forms. The original deadline was Sept. 23.

About $434,000 could go to an estimated 15,000 Washington residents as the result of a proposed settlement announced last year between the two drug makers and all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. By early September, approximately 265 Washington patients had filed claims.

Washington's share is part of a $21 million fund created to reimburse patients who paid more than they should have for Cardizem CD, which is used to treat chest pain, high blood pressure and heart disease.

The states alleged that Aventis, maker of Cardizem CD, conspired with another company, Andrx, to keep a cheaper generic form of the drug off the market. In return, Andrx received payments of about $90 million.

Additional information about the settlement, including how to file a claim, can be found at http://www.cardizemsettlement.com or by calling 1-800-372-2406.

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