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Bristol-Myers to Pay $1 Million Criminal Fine in Plavix Case

Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed to pay a $1 million criminal fine for lying to the federal government about a patent deal involving its Plavix blood thinner, the Justice Department said.

The fine resolves a two-count criminal charge filed by the department in federal court, which alleges that Bristol-Myers illegally concealed a patent settlement deal it had reached with Canadian drug maker Apotex, the department said.

The patent settlement at issue would have delayed generic competition to Plavix, but it collapsed.

Bristol-Myers announced on May 10 that it had agreed to plead guilty in connection with the case and said the charges carried a maximum fine of $1 million.

In a statement Wednesday, Bristol-Myers said the court documents filed by the government on Wednesday was "the next procedural step in completing our previously announced agreement to resolve the federal antitrust investigation."

Regarding allegations that Bristol-Myers had reached illegal side agreements with Apotex to block its generic version, company spokesman Tony Plohoros said only that, "Our position on this has been mischaracterized."

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