Sanofi, BMS must pay $834M over Plavix warning label suit

Feb. 16, 2021

A judge in Hawaii has ordered Sanofi and Bristol-Myers Squibb to cough up $834 million for not warning non-white patients about the risks of taking Plavix.

According to the judge, the companies knew that the blood thinner medication was not as effective in patients with East Asian and Pacific Island ancestry. But the judge concluded that from 1998 to 2010, the companies failed to notify doctors or patients about this risk. Some studies have estimated that the drug does not metabolize properly in 14 percent of Chinese patients, compared to 2 percent of whites.

After a four-week trial, each company was ordered to pay $417 million. The companies said in a joint statement that the decision was “unsupported by the law” and that they will appeal. 

Hawaii’s attorney general, who lead the legal charge against the companies, said that the verdict “puts the pharmaceutical industry on notice that it will be held accountable for conduct that deceives the public and places profit above safety.” 

Read the Reuters report.