(CN) – A former senior executive with Bristol-Myers Squibb pleaded guilty Monday to lying to the government about patent litigation involving the company’s blockbuster drug Plavix, a blood-thinner.
Andrew Bodnar represented Bristol-Myers in a 2006 litigation with Apotex over the validity of the Plavix patent. Bristol-Myers at the time was subject to a consent decree requiring it to submit any proposed patent settlements to the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC warned Bristol-Myers that it would not approve the settlement if the company agreed not to launch its own generic version of Plavix to compete with Apotex. But Bodnar promised Apotex that Bristol-Myers would not launch a generic version if Apotex agreed to delay its own generic version until 2011.
Bodnar pleaded guilty in District of Columbia Federal Court to telling the FTC that he had not cut that deal. Bristol-Myers pleaded guilty in the case in 2007 and was fined $1 million.
Plavix is the most widely prescribed blood-thinning drug in the world. Approximately 48 million Americans take Plavix daily to prevent potentially fatal blood clots. The drug was approved for sale in the United States in November 1997.