/////UAMS Receives $541,495 in National Settlement Over Taxol Cost
UAMS Receives $541,495 in National Settlement Over Taxol Cost 2018-01-05T09:11:34+00:00

JUNE 14, 2004 | Cancer programs at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will receive $541,495 as part of a national settlement with Bristol-Myers Squibb, which manufacturers the cancer-fighting drug Taxol.

The lawsuit accused the pharmaceutical giant of unlawfully manipulating the patent process for Taxol to keep the lesser-priced generic off the market. Bristol-Myers Squibb did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement.

Attorney General Mike Beebe announced the windfall for UAMS and two other government entities at a news conference June 9 at the UAMS College of Public Health. UAMS’ portion is the largest per capita refund of any state hospital in the nation.

“This is a huge surprise,” said UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D. “UAMS is obviously elated by this and we’ll use it well. I didn’t really dream it was going to be that much.”

UAMS was slated to receive at least $70,000 in the settlement, but the amount jumped to more than half a million dollars thanks to Michael Parr, Pharm. D., director of pharmacy services at UAMS, who was able to document the amount of Taxol purchased by UAMS through its pharmacy.

“Dr. Parr had unbelievable records and an unbelievable work ethic and an unbelievable ability to help our lawyers understand and get stuff together,” Beebe said.

Parr downplayed his involvement, saying “I was able to put some numbers together,” to which Wilson replied, “You know, I don’t think that’s the whole story.”

Wilson said the money would go toward expanding services offered to cancer patients at UAMS Medical Center and its Arkansas Cancer Research Center. He said the center would likely switch a research floor to patient care.

The settlement provides $55 million for all 50 states and U.S. territories. Medicaid will receive $175,433 and the Arkansas Employee Benefits Division will receive $64,976 to reimburse them for Taxol they purchased for their beneficiaries.

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