22 Apr 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: The Australian government has joined hands with generics manufacturer Apotex in suing Sanofi Aventis seeking millions in compensation for delaying the entry of cheaper generic versions of its blockbuster drug Clopidogrel, which is sold under the brand name, Plavix. The drug is an anti-coagulant used by heart patients and sufferers of stroke in various forms and strengths.
Sanofi is being sued as the australian Government feels that the firm's is extending of patents and delaying entry of generics is causing loss of millions of dollars to the publicly funded drug provider system.
According to the estimates of the Australian Government, the drug was prescribed 2.5 million times in the past financial year, thus costing the government and tax payers more than $154 million. The government is believed to have set aside $1.2 million to join the case filed by Apotex.
Apotex had in 2007 tried to get Sanofi's patent on clopidogrel revoked. However, Sanofi filed for an injunction to prevent Apotex from bringing generic versions of clopidogrel. The injunction was granted and reversed in March 2010 and this led Apotex to take Sanofi to court for the loss it suffered during the period.