Biotech joins Pa. fight against tobacco decision

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania’s cancer research institutions and several biotech groups are protesting an arbitration panel’s decision in favor of cigarette makers that would cost the state about $170 million.

The universities of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania BIO and others say in a court filing that the decision will hurt their research and the fight against cancer.

Friday’s filing was in a Philadelphia case in which the state attorney general's office is seeking to reverse the decision. Arguments are scheduled for March 7.

The panel found that Pennsylvania didn’t appropriately collect money based on 2003 sales by tobacco companies that don’t pay states for the costs of health care for smokers.

The attorney general's office previously declined a settlement offer by tobacco companies that 22 other states accepted.

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