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Wife to Pay Diluted Drug Victims

June 12, 2002

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The wife of a pharmacist who admitted diluting cancer drugs to boost his profits agreed to pay $1.85 million to people victimized by his scheme, her attorney said.

The money from Laura Courtney would be in addition to what Robert Courtney pays as part of any court-ordered restitution.

Robert Courtney pleading guilty in February to criminal charges of adulterating, misbranding and tampering with chemotherapy medications that he mixed for one oncologist. He is awaiting sentencing.

Federal authorities now say his scheme might have affected as many as 4,200 patients and 98,000 prescriptions.

The settlement agreed to by Laura Courtney was announced Tuesday by her lawyer, Charley German. It was negotiated after attorneys representing plaintiffs in civil lawsuits accused her husband of transferring money to her shortly before the government froze his assets.

``She’s not involved with any of the cases and had nothing to do with the pharmacy operations. But she’s willing to give back some of the assets to the victims so she can avoid being entangled in these cases,″ German said.

Attorneys for plaintiffs in the civil lawsuits declined to comment.

More than 300 lawsuits have been filed against Robert Courtney and drug companies the plaintiffs say knew or should have known Courtney was diluting their products. The companies deny the allegations.

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