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In 1999, after extensive clinical trials, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) announced the promising results of its developmental blood pressure drug Vanlev. The company’s press release reported that while Vanlev had side effects similar to other leading drugs, it otherwise outperformed them. The company’s announcement left out one critical detail: not all the clinical data was so positive. In fact, other results from the clinical trials indicated that Vanlev appeared to have life-threatening side effects.
When the FDA expressed serious concerns about Vanlev’s side effects, BMS released a statement that it was withdrawing the drug’s FDA application. In response, the company’s stock price took a perilous dive, losing nearly 30 percent of its value in a single day.
On behalf of lead plaintiff, union-owned Amalgamated Bank, Labaton Sucharow commenced a class action in New Jersey federal court in 2000. We fought for—and after five years of litigation, won—relief on two critical fronts. First, we secured a $185 million recovery for shareholders. However, of more lasting value, we negotiated major reforms to the company’s drug development process that will have a significant impact on consumers and medical professionals across the globe. Due to our tenacious advocacy, BMS must now disclose the results of clinical studies on all of its drugs marketed in any country throughout the world.
Our commitment to advocacy means that large financial recoveries aren’t the end goal; they are an important piece of our efforts to reform companies and protect consumers and shareholders alike.