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Gov. Green announces over $900M award from 2 pharma companies over blood thinners

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VIDEO COURTESY GOV. JOSH GREEN
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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Gov. Josh Green discusses the $916 million awarded to the state of Hawaii from pharmaceutical companies over the Plavix drug. Pictured with the governor are attorneys Rick Fried and Pat McTernan.
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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Gov. Josh Green discusses the $916 million awarded to the state of Hawaii from pharmaceutical companies over the Plavix drug. Pictured with the governor are attorneys Rick Fried and Pat McTernan.

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Gov. Josh Green discusses the $916 million awarded to the state of Hawaii from pharmaceutical companies over the Plavix drug. Pictured with the governor are attorneys Rick Fried and Pat McTernan.

Gov. Josh Green and state Attorney General Anne Lopez announced today that the state has been awarded $916 million from two pharmaceutical giants — Bristol Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis — over prescription drug blood thinners that have been ineffective on certain ethnicities.

The blood thinner Plavix which is activated by liver enzymes was found to be less effective or have no effect on Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians, according to Green. About 837,000 prescriptions were made in Hawaii between 1998 and 2010. Green said drug takers were inadequately informed and possibly harmed.

Green called it the largest monetary award in the state’s history. Green said after the award money pays for litigation fees, the rest will go into the general fund toward underfunded health initiatives and other public health needs.

“It’s very important that we insist on the integrity of the science so that we actually care for people well,” Green said. “I was very excited to imagine that there would be extra resources for us to provide extra health care in the state of Hawaii following a very tough period of COVID and the wildfire.”

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