Archive for Saturday, March 8, 2003

Bristol-Meyers settles charges of anticompetitive acts

March 8, 2003

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— Pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. on Friday settled federal charges that it blocked the sale of cheaper generic versions of three of its drugs, allegedly costing patients and others millions of dollars.

The Federal Trade Commission said the company tried to limit competition for two of its anticancer drugs -- Taxol and Platinol -- and the antianxiety drug BuSpar. The company's actions protected nearly $2 billion in annual sales, according to the FTC.

"Through Bristol's decade-long pattern of alleged anticompetitive acts, Bristol avoided competition by abusing federal regulations," said Joe Simons, director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition.

Bristol agreed it would no longer list patents on a drug after a generic firm indicated it would market its own version.

The FTC did not impose any fine. The agency decided financial penalties and consumer payments would be negotiated by states that have sued Bristol, said Susan Creighton, deputy director with the FTC's competition bureau.

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