Bristol-Myers settles Plavix case with states

BOSTON (Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said on Tuesday it agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle charges connected with an anti-trust investigation by the New York State Attorney General’s Office,

Last year, Bristol-Myers pleaded guilty to two federal criminal counts related to allegations that it illegally concealed a side deal with the generic drugmaker Apotex to block introduction of a generic form of Bristol’s blood-thinning drug Plavix.

In the wake of the federal investigation, the New York Attorney General’s office led its own probe on behalf of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Under the settlement, the company acknowledged responsibility for violating court orders in two earlier lawsuits in which it settled state charges that it unlawfully deprived consumers of cheaper generic versions of its drugs Buspar and Taxol.

In the earlier cases, Bristol paid the states $150 million and agreed to two federal court orders that required it to notify the states of patent litigation settlements with generic drug competitors.

After the court orders were in place, in March 2006, Bristol reached a settlement with Apotex in a patent infringement lawsuit involving Plavix.

The Plavix settlement triggered Bristol’s notification obligations under the Buspar and Taxol court orders.

(Reporting by Toni Clarke; editing by John Wallace)

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