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Generic Versions of Plavix Get FDA Approval

Multiple companies produce drug; Bristol-Myers Squibb cuts price


Users of the blood-thinner Plavix now have generic options.

The patent on the best-selling medication, which produced $6.8 billion in 2011 sales for Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and Sanofi (NYSE:SNY), expired on Thursday.

Sanofi, Michael J. Fox Foundation to Test Parkinson’s Drug
Sanofi, Michael J. Fox Foundation to Test Parkinson’s Drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration quickly approved generic versions from Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (NYSE:RDY), Mylan Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:MYL), Teva (NASDAQ:TEVA), Gate Pharmaceuticals, Aurobindo Pharma, Roxane Laboratories, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Apotex and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries under the name clopidogrel.

Shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi were up fractionally in Friday morning trading.

The FDA has approved clopidogrel for the treatment of patients who have suffered a heart attack or stroke, the Wall Street Journal noted.

Mylan, which was approved to sell 300-milligram doses of clopidogrel, announced that it would begin shipping the medication at once.

In an attempt to keep patients from switching to cheaper generic versions, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi are promoting a Plavix Choice Program, which will lower the monthly cost of the drug from $100 to $37.

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