Bristol settles Plavix probe with FTC

We all know that Plavix is Bristol-Myers Squibb's Big Kahuna. Yesterday, we reported that it's one of the only two brand-name meds in the top 10 scrip-earners for 2008. And with the clot-buster set to go off patent in 2011, Bristol is trying to milk Plavix for all it's worth.

Unfortunately for Bristol, those facts weren't lost on federal regulators. The Federal Trade Commission has been investigating the drugmaker's attempts to keep a copycat version of Plavix off the market. (Bristol has already settled similar claims brought forward by the New York Attorney General and the Justice Department.)

Now, Bristol can say goodbye to accusations that it made false statements about its negotiations with Canada's Apotex, which briefly launched a Plavix copy to the immediate detriment of Bristol's revenues. Because it's settling with the FTC for $2.1 million. "The company is pleased to put this matter behind it and continues to focus on delivering innovative medicines," company spokeswoman Laura Hortas told the Wall Street Journal.

- see the WSJ story