Hawaii attorney general sues maker of drug Plavix (Update)

by Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

Hawaii's attorney general is suing the makers of a widely prescribed blood thinner that he says a significant portion of the state's population has difficulty metabolizing.

Attorney General David Louie filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the manufacturers and distributors of Plavix, marketed to work similarly to aspirin to prevent a stroke or heart attack.

Louie says the drugmaker didn't disclose that Plavix would have diminished or no effect on people of East Asian and Pacific Islander ancestry. He says the drug puts them at risk for gastrointestinal bleeding and other complications.

The suit names Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis as defendants. In a joint statement, the companies said they won't comment on pending litigation.

Sanofi last year said the U.S. Justice Department was investigating its disclosures to the Food and Drug Administration about different responses to Plavix. It provided no details but said it was cooperating with the probe.

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