FTC Forces Bristol-Myers Squibb to Divest a Blockbuster Drug to a Competitor in Bid to Protect Consumers


  • The FTC determined that the acquisition of pharmaceutical company Celgene Corporation (“Celgene”) by another pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (“BMS”) would violate the Clayton Act and the FTC Act.
  • In the complaint, the FTC alleged that the proposed acquisition would harm consumers and reduce competition in the U.S. market for oral medications for moderate-to-severe psoriasis because BMS would acquire Celgene’s Otezla—the most popular oral psoriasis treatment currently on the market—while also developing an advanced oral treatment for psoriasis, likely to be a direct competitor to Otezla.
  • According to the final order, BMS is required to divest Otezla to Amgen, Inc. for $13.4 billion, which is reportedly the largest divestiture ever required by the FTC or U.S. Department of Justice in a merger enforcement matter.