Bristol-Myers settles AGs' claims for $1.1 million

Chris Rizo Dec. 24, 2008, 1:00am

J.B. Van Hollen (R)

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline)-Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. has agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle claims it was in violation of a 2003 antitrust agreement involving the anti- anxiety drug BuSpar and anticancer drug Taxol, state attorneys general said Tuesday.

The 2003 agreement required the New York-based pharmaceutical giant to notify states of patent-litigation settlements with generic-drug competitors and provide the states with yearly compliance reports.

The states said that after the court orders were in place, there was an agreement in March 2006 that Bristol reached with generic-drug manufacturer Apotex Inc. in a patent-infringement lawsuit involving the blood-thinning drug Plavix.

The state attorneys general contend they needed to approve the deal that was aimed at delaying the generic version of the drug. The deal eventually fell apart amid criminal allegations that Bristol concealed a side agreement from regulators.

Bristol-Myers pleaded guilty to two federal criminal counts related to the allegations.

"When a court issues an order, it is to be followed," Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said in a statement. "When court orders aren't followed, there can be very real consequences."

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