Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. has agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle allegations by Attorneys General nationwide that the drug maker misled the states about a proposed Plavix patent deal with Apotex Corp. in 2006, a violation of court orders stemming from two earlier antitrust cases. Under the settlement — entered into between Bristol-Myers and all 50 states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories — the drug maker accepted responsibility for subverting reporting requirements. The settlement amount will be paid to all 50 states and the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories. Bristol-Meyers Squibb acknowledged responsibility for violating court orders in two earlier lawsuits. Actions by BMS denied the states critical information needed to guard against anti-competitive conduct.
In two previous cases, BMS settled charges that they had unlawfully deprived consumers of less expensive, generic versions of two of its drugs, Buspar and Taxol. BMS paid the states $150 million and agreed to two federal court orders allowing the states to detect future anti-competitive conduct. Both court orders required the company to notify the states of patent litigation settlements with generic drug competitors, and required BMS to provide yearly compliance reports.
In March of 2006, BMS reached a settlement with the generic drug manufacturer Apotex Inc. in a patent infringement lawsuit involving BMS’s drug, Plavix, triggering BMS’s notification obligations. It was later determined that the compliance reports provided by BMS were incomplete and that the company had failed to disclose a non-documented “side” arrangement it had made with Apotex, thus violating the Buspar and Taxol court orders. BMS acknowledged responsibility for making incomplete and false statements and agreed to revised court orders extending its reporting obligations, as well as to harsh monetary penalties for any future violations. In June 2007, BMS pled guilty to federal criminal charges relating to its conduct in notifying federal officials of the same settlement with Apotex.
Source: New Medico Business Weekly
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