Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) bid goodbye to their exclusive patent for blockbuster drug Plavix with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of generic versions of the blood-thinning drug to nine pharmaceutical companies today, signaling the drug’s fall down the patent cliff.
Plavix reached peak sales of more than $7 billion last year, making it Bristol-Myers’ best-selling drug in 2011.
The FDA granted approval for clopidogrel, the generic version of Plavix in 300-milligram and 75-milligram doses. Among the pharmaceutical companies approved to sell the drug are Teva Pharmaceutical and Mylan Inc.
Clopidogrel is designed for people who have had a recent heart attack or a recent stroke, or have partial or total blockage of an artery, a statement from the FDA said.
An April 26 analyst report from Morningstar estimated that between Plavix and blood pressure drug Avapro Bristol-Myers will lose 40 percent of its sales to generics. But the company has a strong pipeline, underlined by collaborations with other pharmaceutical companies to spread risk.
Well over half of Bristol’s sales are derived from drugs in partnerships with other drugmakers. Over the next several years, we expect additional partnerships to bring in new drugs augmenting the company’s internal pipeline.
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