Thursday, March 20, 2014

Plavix and The Five O

Hawaii attorney general sues makers of drug Plavix alleging unfair and deceptive marketing

Hawaii Attorney General David Louie filed a lawsuit Wednesday in 1st Circuit Court against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis, the manufacturers and distributors of the drug Plavix, alleging unfair and deceptive marketing of the blood-thinning drug to Hawaii consumers.

The suit alleges that manufacturers of Plavix, a “blockbuster antiplatelet” drug aimed at preventing strokes and heart attacks, began questionable marketing of the drug back in 1998 for not disclosing information related to how certain genetic traits reportedly alter effectiveness of the drug and potentially lead to complications, such as gastrointestinal bleeding.

“It has been reported that 38-79 percent of Pacific-Islanders and 40-50 percent of East Asians may respond poorly to Plavix due to a genetic predisposition to poorly metabolize the drug,” the state said in a statement.

The lawsuit also alleges that Plavix unfairly marketed messages to consumers about the drug being just as effective and safe for the elderly as in younger patients, and that it is more effective and safer than aspirin.

Louie is seeking civil penalties and disgorgement of profits.

New Jersey-based manufacturers Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis said in a joint statement emailed to PBN that they don't comment on pending litigation.

"Plavix is one of the most studied medicines with over a decade of real-world experience in patients with acute coronary syndrome, recent stroke, recent heart attack and peripheral arterial disease (PAD),"  the two companies said in the statement. "Plavix has been prescribed to more than 115 million patients worldwide, including more than 50 million in the United States."

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