Texas and 42 States Reach $19.5 Million Settlement with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Published 12:07 pm Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Special to The Leader


AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that the state of Texas will receive $1,015,420 in a $19.5 million settlement that 42 other state attorneys general reached with the pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). The settlement stems from claims that the company violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by improperly marketing the antipsychotic drug Abilify. Under the terms of the settlement, BMS is prohibited from making false or misleading claims about Abilify, including its safety or efficacy in comparison with other drugs.

Abilify is the brand name for the prescription drug aripiprazole, which was originally approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in 2002 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Without FDA approval, BMS promoted Abilify to treat children and symptoms consistent with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in elderly patients. In 2006, Abilify received a “black box” warning stating that elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis who are treated with antipsychotic drugs have an increased risk of death. The petition alleges that BMS made false and misleading representations about Abilify’s risks by not revealing limitations that would substantially affect the interpretation of the scientific studies.

“BMS put Texans’ lives at risk when it marketed Abilify for uses not approved by the FDA,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The integrity of our healthcare system depends on patients and doctors being able to trust the representations made by pharmaceutical companies. Our Consumer Protection Division will continue to prosecute vigorously any company, like BMS, which chooses exploitation over the safety of their consumer.”

Besides Texas, the participating states in the settlement are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.