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Generic drug manufacturers have long complained about the tactics that pharmaceutical companies use to extend the patent stranglehold on their most lucrative medicines. Now 29 state attorneys general have jumped into the fray. They claim that Bristol-Myers Squibb Company maintained its monopoly on the anticancer drug Taxol by manipulating federal law. The AGs allege that the pharmaceutical giant listed fraudulent patents and filed bogus infringement suits. In June the states, led by Ohio, Maryland, and Florida, brought suit in Washington, D.C., federal court, alleging that Bristol-Myers used “sham” litigation to maintain its monopoly. They claim that for several years, Bristol-Myers colluded with another drug company, American Bioscience Inc., in an effort to prevent a generic producer from marketing a low-cost version of Taxol. (American Bioscience is named as a coconspirator in the states’ suit, but is not a defendant.) The states seek unspecified injunctive relief and civil penalties. At press time Bristol-Myers had not filed a response to the states’ suit. The company faces two similar suits in the same D.C. court, filed last year by a hospital and a drug distributor. For plaintiff State of Ohio Attorney general Betty Montgomery, assistant attorney general Alan Witten, principal attorney-antitrust Mitchell Gentile, and chief of the antitrust section Doreen Johnson. For plaintiff State of Maryland Deputy attorney general Carmen Shepard and assistant attorney general-antitrust Meredyth Smith Andrus. For plaintiff State of Florida Attorney general Robert Butterworth, deputy attorney general Richard Doran, chief assistant attorney general Patricia Conners, assistant attorney general Nicholas Weilhammer, and assistant attorney general Craig Farringer. For defendant Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (New York) In-house: Vice president and deputy general counsel Linda Willett and vice president and senior counsel-litigation Zenola Harper. Cravath, Swaine & Moore (New York): Evan Chesler, Richard Stark, and associates David Marriott, Walter Norkin, Virginia Rutledge, and Devon Sargent. Cravath represented Squibb Corporation before it merged with Bristol-Myers in 1989. Chesler handled Bristol-Myers antitrust litigation in 1999.

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