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Bristol-Myers to ask court to bar generic Plavix

January 19, 2007|From Bloomberg News

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. will ask a U.S. court to stop generic versions of its bestselling drug Plavix, four months after ousting its chief executive for bungling a deal to delay copycat versions of the medicine.

Bristol-Myers and Sanofi-Aventis, France's biggest drug maker, will urge a federal judge to uphold the patent on Plavix, a blood thinner, in a trial set to begin Monday in New York. Apotex Inc., a drug maker that wants to resume sales of a generic version of Plavix, claims the patent is invalid.

Plavix, the world's second-bestselling drug after Pfizer Inc.'s Lipitor, generated global sales of $6.3 billion in 2005. Prescriptions for Plavix plunged 32% in the third quarter after closely held Apotex of Weston, Canada, shipped a six-month supply of its version in August.

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