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Jamie Sheller
Jamie Sheller
Attorney • (800) 883-2299

Investigation Into Settlement of Drug Patent Lawsuit

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Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis are being investigated by the Justice Department. The investigation stems from a deal the companies made with a Canadian generic drug maker, Apotex. In January, the FDA approved Apotex’s generic version of the drug Plavix. Sanofi and Bristol-Myers, who co-market Plavix, filed a patent lawsuit against Apotex. In March, the companies settled the lawsuit. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Apotex would receive a payment and agree not to sell its generic version of Plavix until September 2011. Generic drugs cost consumers less, while cutting into the profits of the brand name drug manufacturers. Agreements such as the one between Sanofi, Bristol-Myers and Apotex allow big drug companies to continue reaping profits without generic competition, while preventing consumers from saving money on necessary medications.