Plavix Lawsuits Cost Manufacturers $834M

  •  verdict

On Monday, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi S.A. were ordered to pay more than $834 million to the state of Hawaii over failure to warn the patients about the risk associated with the blood thinner Plavix.

The massive civil penalty was awarded by Judge Dean Ochiai in Honolulu and was announced by Hawaii Attorney General in a news conference the next day.

Plavix is the brand name for the oral antiplatelet agent Clopidogrel and is marketed jointly by the two drug manufacturers. The drug treats the formation of blood clots in peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, and coronary artery disease.

The state of Hawaii filed a lawsuit in 2014 against the two companies alleging that they knew about the worse clinical outcomes associated with Plavix when taken by a certain genetic variation, a group that includes a significant portion of Hawaii’s population, yet failed to notify the medical community or consumers of the potential risks. The state also alleged that they violated state consumer protection laws by involving in deceptive marketing practices.

Judge Ochiai, who presided over the trial, affirmed that the companies failed to change the drug’s label to warn about the risks and engaged in unfair and deceptive business practices from 1998 to 2010.

The non-jury trial went for four-weeks and was conducted through Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In conclusion, both the companies were ordered to $417 million each in penalties. Officials of Bristol-Myers Squibb have said that the company is intending to appeal the verdict.

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