Pharmaceutical company ordered to pay Hawaii nearly $1 billion for fraudulent business practices

The drug companies hid information from doctors who prescribed Plavix, which can have an outsized negative impact on Asians and Pacific Islanders.

A Hawaii state judge awarded the state more than $900 million on Tuesday after finding that two major pharmaceutical companies used unfair and deceptive business practices in marketing the blood thinner Plavix.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and U.S. subsidiaries of French pharmaceutical company Sanofi were each ordered to pay $458 million by First District Court Judge James Ashford.

The companies did not disclose Plavix's effectiveness and safety profile, Hawaii Attorney General Anne Lopez said in a news release.

Ashford found that the companies knew that some patients, particularly those of non-Caucasian descent, might not do well with the drug, but they intentionally suppressed research and allowed Hawaii doctors to prescribe the drug without having the necessary information to have.

According to the AG's press release, the judge concluded that defendants “intentionally turned a blind eye to the problem of diminished response because defendants feared that resolving this problem would be detrimental to Plavix's sales and defendants' profits.” could have an impact.”

In enforcing Hawaii's consumer protection law, the court concluded that Hawaii had a heightened interest in this case because “the omission of warnings creates a serious risk of harm to all consumers, but a particularly high risk to patients of East Asian and Pacific ancestry.” .”, which make up a significant portion of Hawaii’s population,” the press release states.

The case was originally filed in 2014 by then-Attorney General David Louie. You can read Ashford's reasoning, conclusions and ruling here.

Anna Harden

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