Grants to Benefit the Health Care Needs of Consumers with High Blood Pressure and Angina

The deadline for Grant Applications was November 21, 2008.  Applications are no longer being accepted.

The Cardizem Settlement Fund was the result of the settlement of antitrust lawsuits brought by the state attorneys general and private class action plaintiffs against two drug companies accused of conspiring to keep a generic version of a widely used medication off the market. (In re Cardizem CD Antitrust Litigation, Master File No. 99-MDL-1278 (E.D. Mich) (NGE).) The suits alleged that beginning in July 1998, Hoechst (a pharmaceutical company subsequently acquired by Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) paid Andrx Corporation over $89 million not to market a generic form of Cardizem CD and to delay the availability of the generic form of Cardizem CD. As a result, consumers, medical insurance companies and the government had to purchase the higher priced, brand name version of the drug for over 11 months. Cardizem CD is a controlled release form of diltiazem for treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) and for management of chronic stable angina and angina due to coronary artery spasm.

Before trial and without admitting liability, Hoechst and Andrx agreed to pay $80 million to settle the lawsuits asserted on behalf of consumers, states and third party payers. Of this amount, approximately $21 million was for a Consumer Settlement Fund to compensate consumers who purchased Cardizem CD in 1998 and 1999. After notice and hearing, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan approved the settlement and distribution of over $21 million to over 76,000 consumers, and in July 2008 the Honorable Nancy G. Edmunds approved our selection to administer the remainder of the funds.

On behalf of the New York State Attorney General and the Attorneys General of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, we solicited applications from nonprofit organizations and public agencies for grants to benefit the health care needs of consumers with hypertension, chronic stable angina and/or angina due to coronary artery spasm. At the close of the application period 16 applications were received requesting a total of more than $3 million in grant funds. The New York State Attorney General and other Attorneys General approved and awarded two grants totaling $262,000 in remaining funds.