Important Update: The distribution of the Settlement Fund to Class members who submitted timely and valid claims commenced in late 2013 and is ongoing.
Overview of the Settlement
Commonwealth Care Alliance, et al. vs. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals L.P., et al.,
Case No. 05-0269 BLS
A settlement has been reached with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP (â€śAstraZenecaâ€ť), the maker of NexiumÂ®, in a class action lawsuit pending in Suffolk County Superior Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (â€śLawsuitâ€ť). The Lawsuit claims that AstraZeneca deceptively marketed NexiumÂ®. AstraZeneca denies any wrongdoing and has consistently maintained that NexiumÂ® is supported by strong clinical studies, and that the promotion of NexiumÂ® has always been truthful, balanced, and fair. Plaintiffs do not claim that NexiumÂ® is unsafe in any way.
Why Is There a Settlement?
Although the Court has not ruled on the merits of the Plaintiffsâ€™ claims, the parties have agreed to settle this Lawsuit. Based on Class Counselâ€™s extensive investigation of the facts and the law relevant to the Lawsuit, the Plaintiffs and Class Counsel have concluded that the settlement with AstraZeneca is in the best interests of the settlement Class. The Settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing or an indication that any law was violated.
What Does the Settlement Provide?
AstraZeneca agreed to pay $20 million to settle the Plaintiffsâ€™ claims in the Settlement. After deducting certain amounts, including amounts approved by the Court for the settlement notice and claims administration, payment of attorneysâ€™ fees, reimbursement of Plaintiffsâ€™ litigation expenses, and service awards to settlement Class Representatives, the net fund is being distributed in cash to settlement Class members who submitted valid claims. If there is any money left after paying all valid claims, the excess funds will be distributed as cy pres payments to charities agreed to by the parties and approved by the Court.
In exchange, the settlement releases claims against AstraZeneca concerning the legal issues in the Lawsuit. The â€śReleaseâ€ť is described more fully in the Stipulation of Settlement and Release, which describes in more detail the legal claims that you give up as part of the Settlement.
Am I Part of the Settlement?
Generally, you are a member of the settlement Class if you are a person or entity who, during the period from March 1, 2001, through February 6, 2013: (a) purchased NexiumÂ® in or from Massachusetts, or (b) reimbursed or paid for NexiumÂ® dispensed in Massachusetts, or (c) reimbursed or paid for NexiumÂ® purchased by mail order from Massachusetts.
You are not a member of the settlement Class if you are a government entity (except for government-funded employee benefit funds), you purchased NexiumÂ® for purposes of resale (but solely to the extent of such purchases for purposes of resale), or you are the Judge assigned to this action and any member of the Judgeâ€™s immediate family.
The settlement Class includes both consumers and entities, known as â€śThird-Party Payors,â€ť that purchased, reimbursed, or paid for NexiumÂ®.
What Were My Options?
- To qualify for payment from the Settlement, you must have timely submitted a completed Claim Form. Claim Forms must have been postmarked, faxed, sent electronically in PDF format, or submitted online by August 30, 2013.
- If you had comments about, or objections to, any aspect of the Settlement, including the requested attorneysâ€™ fees or service awards, you could have expressed your views to the Court. Refer to the Full Notice for more information on how you could have expressed your views to the Court.
- If you did nothing, you will not receive a payment from the Settlement, and you wonâ€™t be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against AstraZeneca about the legal issues in the Lawsuit.
When and Where Did the Court Approve the Settlement?
The Court held a hearing known as a Fairness Hearing on July 31, 2013, at Suffolk County Superior Court, Three Pemberton Square, Boston, Massachusetts 02108. At the Fairness Hearing, the Court approved the Settlement and the plan for distributing it as fair, adequate, and reasonable. The Court also approved how much to pay Class Counsel and the settlement Class Representatives.