Saturday, September 29, 2007

The New Bristol Myers Squibb Agreement

The United State Attorney for Massachusetts reports in a press release that "Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Apothecon, Inc., have agreed to pay in excess of $515 million to resolve a broad array of federal and state civil allegations involving their drug marketing and pricing practices."  Within the press release one finds the following:

"BMS cooperated in aspects of the Government’s investigation. For example, BMS voluntarily disclosed to the United States Attorney's Office in the District of Massachusetts its practices with respect to the remuneration paid to physicians in 2000-2003, and voluntarily provided to the government numerous documents detailing these practices. With respect to Abilify, prior to the government’s investigation, BMS initiated steps to modify its physician “call lists” to reduce the potential for off-label marketing. In addition, BMS made available to the government Frederick Lacey, a retired federal district court judge who had been serving as BMS' compliance monitor pursuant to a deferred prosecution agreement in the District of New Jersey. Judge Lacey and other senior BMS officials presented extensive evidence of the compliance practices under which BMS currently operates. The government took BMS’s self-disclosure, its cooperation, and its current practices into account in agreeing to this civil resolution."

The Agreement does contain a waiver and cooperation provision, but it does not ask for a waiver of attorney-client privileged material. The agreement states:

33. BMS agrees to cooperate fully and truthfully with the United States' investigation of the Covered Conduct, as that pertains to individuals and entities not released in this Agreement.  Upon reasonable notice, BMS shall make reasonable efforts to facilitate access to, and encourage cooperation of it directors, officers, and employees for interviews and testimony, consistent with the rights and privileges of such individuals and shall furnish to the United States, upon reasonable request, all non-privileged documents and records in its possession, custody, or control related to the Covered Conduct.

By the way, this agreement also does not include a chair to law school.


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