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Bristol Myers Squibb Settles Israel Antitrust Case for $2.7 Million

 |  July 1, 2024

Pharmaceutical giant Bristol Myers Squibb has agreed to pay 10 million shekels ($2.7 million) to settle a potential antitrust case in Israel. This settlement pertains to allegations that the company obstructed the creation of a generic version of its anti-cancer drug, Imnovid. The Israel Competition Authority announced this decision on Monday.

The anti-cancer drug Imnovid, distributed in Israel by Neopharm Scientific, is vital for treating multiple myeloma and AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma. The controversy began when Bristol Myers Squibb and Neopharm Scientific declined a request from KS Kim International for samples needed to develop a generic version of the drug. Although the samples were eventually provided after a five-month delay, the Israel Competition Authority contended that this postponement hindered competition for a crucial medication.

Jonathan Cwikel, deputy legal counsel for civil and administrative affairs at the Israel Competition Authority, emphasized the broader message this settlement sends. “We want to send a message to companies that have a dominant position in the market that they cannot act in a manner that is likely to reduce competition,” Cwikel told Reuters.

The Israel Competition Authority initially planned to fine Neopharm 64 million shekels and an unnamed company executive 600,000 shekels. However, before a similar action could be taken against Bristol Myers Squibb, the company proposed a settlement, as explained by Cwikel.

By agreeing to the consent decree and the payment of 10 million shekels, Bristol Myers Squibb did not admit to any wrongdoing or liability. “On our part, we did not finalize our inquiry, so we don’t have any formal decision against them,” Cwikel noted.
Source: Reuters