Bristol-Myers Squibb Achieves Global Resolution on Array of Historical Drug Pricing and Marketing Allegations

October 5, 2007

On September 28, 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Bristol-Myers Squibb (“BMS”) agreed to pay more than $515 Million Dollars to settle off-label promotion, anti-kickback, Average Wholesale Price (“AWP”), and Best Price (“BP”) allegations, and related False Claims Act claims.  The enforcement action comes just three months after BMS earned praise from a federal monitor as a company “that today is governed by the highest standards of integrity, ethics and accountability, and one that reflects its commitment to those principles in both words and deeds,” and correspondingly, having a U.S. Attorney dismiss a two year old a criminal complaint and terminate a deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”).  Despite the seeming inconsistency between glowing praise followed by new allegations and a large settlement, the settlement documents suggest that while this is not “old news,” the “covered conduct” stopped relatively shortly after the company entered into the DPA in June 2005.  Specifically, according to the government’s allegations, the covered conduct ceased in December 2001 (anti-kickback), December 2000 (AWP), December 2003 (anti-kickback again), December 2005 (off-label promotion), and 1997 (BP).

The $515M includes a $328M federal share, $25M of which comes as disgorgement of profits under the FDC Act.  The states will share in $187M.  False Claims Act relators in seven actions will share $50M.

As is usual in these types of resolutions, BMS also entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


By James P. Ellison

Categories: Enforcement