August 9, 2005
Jefferson City, Mo. — Hope Lodge, an American Cancer Society charity that provides free lodging to cancer patients receiving intensive treatment, will receive more than $92,000 for its two facilities in Missouri as part of an agreement between pharmaceutical manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squibb and Attorney General Jay Nixon.
The Hope Lodges in Kansas City and St. Louis will split the $92,482.35 collected by Nixon's office as partial settlement of an antitrust lawsuit with Bristol-Myers Squibb, manufacturer of the anti-cancer drug Taxol. Hope Lodge, with locations throughout the United States., provides free, temporary housing for cancer patients and their families when they must seek treatment at a medical facility far from home.
In the past year, the two Hope Lodges provided 14,179 guest nights to more than 1,600 cancer patients and their families from almost every county in Missouri, 20 other states and the Dominican Republic. Estimated value of services provided is more than $1.4 million.
"It is only fitting that cancer patients and their families should benefit from this settlement," Nixon said. "Missourians from throughout the state must travel to St. Louis and Kansas City for cancer treatment, and Hope Lodge provides a tremendous public service by lending a helping hand to these families during difficult times. I am certainly pleased we can offer this support."
The payment by Bristol-Myers stems from a $55 million settlement in November 2003 with the attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia in which the pharmaceutical giant was accused of delaying the introduction of lower-priced generic versions of Taxol. Last year, 296 Missourians received checks totaling $163,989 as part of the settlement. Bristol-Myers Squibb paid an additional $909,000 to Missouri entities who overpaid for the drugs, including the state Medicaid program, public hospitals, and public employee insurance plans.
The funding provided to Hope Lodge represents what remained after consumer claims were paid and the claims period had ended. The conditions of the settlement required the remaining funds to be used to benefit cancer victims or their families.
"On behalf of the American Cancer Society, I want to thank Attorney General Nixon for helping make this possible. The money from this settlement will allow the Hope Lodge to continue to provide quality accommodation, programs and activities to cancer patients and their caregivers," said Lynne Schlosser, director of government relations for the American Cancer Society. "The lodge provides a place of hope for patients receiving treatment. These funds will allow us to continue to improve the quality of life for all those touched by cancer."
Located at 4215 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis Hope Lodge is a modern brick building featuring guest rooms and centrally located kitchenettes with a dining room, a computer resource area, and a library with a collection of videos and books. Guests can also participate in a variety of self-help programs and have access to free nutritional supplements, wigs and head coverings.
Kansas City Hope Lodge is a 45-guest room facility located in the Quality Hill district of downtown Kansas City at 1120 Pennsylvania Ave. The lodge features a fitness room, outdoor courtyard, and provides special considerations to cancer patients receiving transplants.