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Bristol-Myers pleads guilty in Plavix case

June 12, 2007|From the Associated Press

NEW YORK — Drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said Monday that it pleaded guilty to two counts of making false statements to the Federal Trade Commission regarding the firm's botched settlement with generic drug maker Apotex Inc. over the blood thinner Plavix.

As a result, Bristol-Myers will pay a fine of $1 million, resolving a Justice Department probe. The company acknowledged that an unnamed "former senior executive" led Apotex to believe that Bristol-Myers would not launch a competing generic version of Plavix if Apotex agreed to a settlement, and implied that then-Chief Executive Pete Dolan shared his views. That information was not disclosed to the FTC.

Bristol-Myers and marketing partner Sanofi-Aventis had agreed to pay Canada-based Apotex a minimum of $40 million to keep its generic version of Plavix off the market until 2011, when the patent on the drug expires. The agreement soured when state attorneys general refused to sign off on it.

The agreement fell under a federal criminal investigation, leading to an FBI raid of Bristol-Myers' offices in New York.

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