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Hawaii Court Imposes $834 Million Judgment on Pharmaceutical Companies for Plavix

  • Hawaii AG Clare Connors obtained a judgment against pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and three U.S.-based subsidiaries of French pharmaceutical company Sanofi and related individuals (collectively “BMS”) after a circuit court found that BMS used deceptive tactics and false advertising to market the blood-thinning drug Plavix in violation of Hawaii’s Unfair and Deceptive Acts or Practices statute.
  • The complaint alleged and the court found that BMS claimed in its marketing that Plavix afforded protection against heart attacks and strokes, without any discussion of populations for which it may not be effective, even though studies done years before Plavix came on the market showed that it may not work for a majority of East Asians and Pacific Islanders who comprise roughly half of Hawaii’s population.
  • The judgment imposes $834 million in total civil money penalties, split equally between Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Sanofi defendants.
  • As previously reported, in 2019, West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey reached a $3.2 million settlement with the same companies over similar allegations of deceiving consumers about the effectiveness of Plavix.