A former vice-president at the Pharmaceutical Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. was indicted as the U.S. Department of Justice said he lied to the federal government about a patent deal related to the blood-thinning drug Plavix.
If the executive Dr. Bodnar is found guilty he could face a penalty of five years in prison and up to $250,000 fine. The defender lawyer said Bodnar would plead not guilty and will vigorously contest the charges because they are baseless, the New York Times reported.
However nearly a year ago, Bristol-Myers agreed to plead guilty and pay $1 million fine for lying to the Federal Trade Commission. At the time the firm was making a secret deal to solve a dispute related to a drug patent and the FTC had required Myers to submit any arrangement or proposal made to Apotex for examination.
The Justice Department accused Mr. Bodnar of making false promises in 2006 to the company Apotex saying that Bristol-Myers would not release its own generic version of the medical product Plavix if Apotex would agree to end litigation and delay issuing its generic version of Plavix until 2011 (when the patent of the product expired), the indictment issued on Wednesday stated.
Plavix is a best seller product of Bristol-Myers that prevents blood clots, it sold about $4.06 billion in 2007.