Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Plavix patent upheld; Apotex enjoined from selling

As was predicted, Judge Stein found the Plavix patent valid and infringed.

Stephanie Saul of the New York Times reported:

In addition to upholding the Plavix patent, Judge Stein permanently prohibited the generic manufacturing company Apotex from selling additional supplies of its version of the drug, called clopidogrel bisulphate.

Judge Stein also said he would schedule a hearing to establish damages to be paid by Apotex, which flooded the market with more than $1 billion of its product last fall, drastically cutting into earnings of both Bristol and Sanofi-Aventis. Bristol alone had collected more than $3 billion in Plavix revenue in 2005, making the drug the company’s largest product.

While good news for the brand-name manufacturers, the ruling was bittersweet. Bristol-Myers and Sanofi-Aventis, based in France, had been intent on settling the patent dispute last year, so much so that they negotiated away the right to collect triple damages from Apotex. That will reduce the ultimate amount of any damages.


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