BMS settles HIV drug lawsuit

April 18, 2022

Bristol Myers Squibb will have to pay a hefty price to settle a lawsuit claiming that the drugmaker used anticompetitive tactics to monopolize the HIV drug market.

The pharma giant is the first of the three accused companies to settle. Gilead and Johnson & Johnson are facing the same allegations in the class-action lawsuit, but are not involved in the settlement.

The lawsuit was headed up by AIDS and gay rights activist Peter Staley in 2019 and accuses Gilead of controlling the market through anti-competitive deals with BMS and J&J. The suit alleges that the companies blocked generic competition to their HIV drugs by making exclusive deals to include only their drugs in all fixed-dose combinations of cocktail therapies.

Allegedly, these deals would apply after patents had run out, further preventing generics from coming into the mix.

According to Staley, this forced patients to pay more for fixed-dose combinations. BMS will have to pay up to $11 million to settle.