When I was in school and did something bad, the teacher would write my name on the board. If I messed up again, I'd get a check mark next to my name. Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) announced via its 10-K filing published Monday that it received the equivalent of its name on the board from the U.S. Attorney's Office as a result of its earlier travails in attempting to keep a generic version of its blood thinner Plavix off the market.

The latest problems for Bristol-Myers and partner Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE:SNY) all began in March of last year, when the firms made an agreement with generic drugmaker Apotex to settle all litigation related to the validity of the Plavix patents in exchange for allowing Apotex to launch a generic version of the drug in 2011.

Various governmental agencies didn't take an appreciative view of this anticompetitive maneuver, and the agreement was disbanded later in the year, clearing Apotex to launch a generic version of Plavix last year. Also, Bristol-Myers had already made an agreement in 2005 with the U.S. Attorney's Office not to breach any securities laws in exchange for deferred prosecution of past grievances, so the Apotex brouhaha put it in breach of this agreement.

Luckily for Bristol-Myers' shareholders, an independent monitor ruled that while Bristol-Myers "had violated certain" parts of its 2005 agreement to do no wrong, it had already remediated the mistakes (perhaps by replacing its previous CEO) and thus no action would be taken against it.

Finally, maybe, perhaps with this latest issue resolved, Bristol-Myers can put its history of financial and business shenanigans behind it and get back to building up its drug pipeline and bumping up its flagging top-line growth.

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Fool contributor Brian Lawler does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool's disclosure policy always cleans the erasers.