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Bristol, Sanofi win Plavix ruling

December 09, 2006|From the Associated Press

A federal appeals court upheld Friday an injunction preventing Apotex Corp. from selling its generic version of Plavix, a blockbuster blood thinner marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington upheld the injunction issued in August by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Apotex started selling its version of the medicine in early August after a deal to settle a patent dispute with the two brand-name drug makers fell apart.

The injunction didn't require Apotex to recall the product it had already sold, so both Bristol-Myers and Sanofi-Aventis had to lower their earnings guidance for this year because the generic drug was eating away at the brand's sales.

Plavix is the world's second-bestselling prescription drug, after Pfizer Inc.'s Lipitor, which is used to lower cholesterol.

It is Bristol-Myers' bestselling drug and Sanofi-Aventis' second-bestselling medicine. The Plavix debacle led to the recent departure of Bristol-Myers Chief Executive Peter Dolan.

Shares of New York-based Bristol-Myers rose a dime Friday to $25.35. Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis fell 18 cents to $45.40.

In a statement, privately held Apotex of Weston, Canada, said it was reviewing its options.

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