Andrew Bodnar, a former senior vice-president of Bristol-Myers Squibb, has been indicted for his role in lying to the federal government about a patent deal involving the popular blood-thinning drug, Plavix, used by heart attack and stroke survivors and other patients. On June 11, 2007, Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed to plead guilty and pay a $1 million criminal fine for misleading the government about a Plavix patent deal. Plavix, a patented pharmaceutical, is the most widely prescribed blood-thinning drug in the world. Approximately 48 million Americans take Plavix daily to prevent potentially fatal blood clots. The drug was approved for sale in the United States in November 1997. Bristol-Myers Squibb and another company, Apotex Inc., were engaged in litigation over the validity of the patent for Plavix and were negotiating a settlement of that litigation.
At the time, Bristol-Myers Squibb was subject to a separate consent decree, for unrelated conduct, with the Federal Trade Commission that required Bristol-Myers Squibb to submit any proposed patent settlements for review and advisory approval by the FTC. The Commission warned Bristol-Myers Squibb that if it agreed with Apotex not to launch BMS’s own generic version of Plavix – meaning that BMS would not compete against Apotex for generic sales – then the FTC would not approve a settlement of the Plavix litigation. Federal officials alleged that at a meeting in 2006, Dr. Bodnar, on behalf of BMS, made representations to Apotex to reassure it that BMS would not launch a generic version of Plavix if Apotex agreed to a settlement which would prevent Apotex from launching its Plavix generic until 2011.
Federal officials alleged that Dr. Bodnar knowingly and willfully made a false statement to the FTC about the existence of his representations to Apotex. Antitrust Division chief Thomas O. Barnett made this observation relating to this sort of conduct:
Lying to the federal government is a serious felony that obstructs the law enforcement process. The Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute such illegal activity.
Dr. Bodnar is charged with a violation of the Federal False Statements Act. If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of five years of imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. The fine may be increased to twice the gain from the offense or twice the loss incurred by the victims of the crime. While this individual faces jail time, the corporate culture that allows and actually encourages this sort of thing should be on trial.
Source: Insurance Journal
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.