Both Bristol-Myers and E.R. Squibb & Co. started as family-owned businesses. When the entities merged to form Bristol-Myers
Squibb in 1989, it created what was then considered the second-largest pharma company.
Today, BMS is ninth biggest, but industry onlookers don't expect another merger, at least not in the short-term, because there
is too much undefined litigation. First off, there are current challenges to the Plavix patent, although it isn't set to expire
until 2011. The court is expected to rule on that case sometime between November 2005 and early 2006. If BMS loses the Plavix
case, the company will have trouble filling the $2.5 billion revenue hole it will create. However, sources close to the case
feel that BMS and partner Sanofi-Aventis stand better than a 50/50 chance.
The second area of undefined litigation surrounds the continual unfolding of the allegations related to the counts of channel
stuffing and securities fraud. Frederick Schiff, the former CFO, and Richard Lane, former executive vice president and president
of the company's worldwide medicines group, were indicted by federal prosecutors, and a trial date will be set in September.
Certainly, whatever type of dirty laundry is aired in court could have ramifications on the company.
In the meantime, Dolan is focused on internal growth—and reclaiming the company's leadership in the industry. "There's much
discussion, not inappropriately, about challenges that the company's had from the past. Since we put a strategy in place and
said, 'Here's how we're going forward,' we've executed against the strategy, we've delivered against expectations, we've got
people in the company aligned behind where we're going, and how we're going to get there. There clearly is a sense of positive
movement and momentum."