Former Bristol Exec Pleads Guilty in Patent Case
Tue, 04/07/2009 - 4:46am
NEW YORK (AP) — The federal government said Monday a former executive for Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. has pleaded guilty to his role in a deal in which the drugmaker intended to pay a rival to keep a generic version of the anti-clotting drug Plavix off the market. The Justice Department said Andrew Bodnar pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Trade Commission about his discussions with Apotex, which made the generic. According to the agreement, Bodnar promised a rival, Apotex Inc., that Bristol-Myers would not launch its own generic version of Plavix if Apotex agreed to accept a $40 million payment in return for delaying its generic until 2011. The drug, also known as clopidgrel, is the second best-selling pharmaceutical in the world. In fact, the FTC had told Bristol-Myers that it was required to start selling its own version of generic Plavix as part of any patent settlement. In his plea agreement, Bodnar said he misrepresented the discussions to FTC regulators by saying Bristol-Myers had not made those promises. In March, Bristol-Myers said it would pay the FTC $2.1 million to settle a probe into its conduct in the negotiations. Bristol-Myers Squibb and its partner Sanofi-Aventis ultimately won their patent dispute against Apotex, and the patent supporting Plavix will be maintained until 2011.