Bristol-Myers Squibb now has one less headache to worry about involving its Plavix blood-thinner product, one of the most prescribed medications in the world. In a Securities and Exchange filing last week, the company revealed that in May, it agreed to pay $125 million to settle a securities class action that alleged BMS and its former chief executive violated securities laws by hiding material information about their efforts to settle a patent lawsuit with the Canadian generic drug maker Apotex Inc.
By way of background, in 2002, Apotex challenged Bristol-Myers’ Plavix patent, as per Hatch-Waxman procedure. In 2006, Bristol-Myers entered into negotiations with Apotex to settle the patent dispute. A tentative settlement agreement fell apart and Apotex briefly sold generic Plavix in the United States before a federal judge ordered it to stop. BMS eventually prevailed in the patent case, but Plavix sales suffered.
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