Attorney General finalizes prescription drug settlement

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 21, 2019

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Attorney General's Office finalized a settlement with both a drug manufacturer and marketer involving a prescription blood thinner for $3.2 million.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey alleged that Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Sanofi-Aventis acted in an unfair and deceptive manner by marketing Plavix as a superior drug to aspirin with a much higher price, despite evidence showing Plavix had no better effect than aspirin for certain usages.

Both Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis must individually pay $1.6 million, according to the settlement agreement.

Morrisey's office also reached an agreement to cap attorney fees at 25 percent, saving the state approximately $200,000 consistent with the Attorney General’s outside counsel policy. In total, the policy has saved the state more than $4 million since implementation, according to a press release.

The final order of dismissal in the case was filed in February in Marshall Circuit Court and signed by Circuit Judge David W. Hummel Jr.

Robert P. Fitzsimmons, Mark A. Colantonio and Clayton J. Fitzsimmons of Fitzsimmons Law Firm; and R. Stephen Jarrell of the West Virginia Attorney General's Office represented the state.

Michael J. Farrell and Erik W. Legg of Farrell, White & Legg; and Anand Agneshwar, Kirk Ogrosky and Murad Hussain of Arnold & Porter Kay Scholer represented Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis.

The case was originally filed by former Attorney General Darrell McGraw in 2012

Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sanofi-Aventis and its named subsidiaries denied any and all wrongdoing. All parties agreed to the settlement to avoid the delay, expense and inconvenience of continued litigation, according to the press release.

"Defendants have answered and denied the State's allegations and, specifically, have denied that they violated any applicable law or regulation or breached any legal duty to the State or its citizens in connection with the State's claims," the settlement agreement states.

The settlement was entered into to fully resolve all claims that the state had against the defendants related to Plavix.

Marshall Circuit Court Case number: 12-C-266

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