US court orders $834 mn from BMS, Sanofi on Plavix: reports

New York (AFP) –


A Hawaii court ordered Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi to pay the state $834 million over marketing claims for blood thinner, Plavix, according to news reports.

The two pharmaceutical giants said they intend to appeal the decision, which concluded that the companies engaged in unfair and deceptive business practices.

The state of Hawaii alleged the companies misled consumers about the benefit of using the drug, particularly for people of East Asian ancestry.

The drug makers "intend to appeal the trial court's decision and we are confident in our success on appeal," the companies said.

The state pointed to results showing the treatment did not work well for some patients of Asian or Pacific-island descent who could not properly metabolize the drug, according to the reports.

But the two companies disagreed, saying, "Leading cardiologists have examined the scientific evidence and continue to recommend Plavix as the standard of care for all its indications regardless of race or ethnicity.

"In fact, compared to other antiplatelets, research has shown that Plavix provides the best clinical outcome for patients of Asian descent," they said in a statement.