On April 23, 2008, the former senior vice president of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (“BMS”), Andrew Bodnar, was indicted for his false statements to the federal government in its investigation into a patent settlement involving a blood-thinning drug used by patients of heart attack and stroke called Plavix. Mr. Bodnar agreed to plead guilty and pay a criminal fine of $1 million. Plavix is the most widely prescribed blood thinning drug in the world, earning BMS over $3.5 billion in the U.S. alone in 2005.
The DOJ alleged that at a meeting in 2006 Mr. Bodnar (representing BMS) made assurances to executives of Apotex, Inc, Canada’s largest generic pharmaceutical company, that BMS would not launch a generic version of its drug Plavix if Apotex agreed not to launch their generic equivalent to Plavix before 2011. The FTC notified Mr. Bodnar that it would not approve such a settlement. BMS was required to submit any proposed patent settlements to the FTC for prior unrelated conduct. The DOJ contends that Mr. Bodnar lied to the FTC regarding representations of his meeting with Apotex.