Drug Wars Update 8

As I predicted, Judge Stein did issue this afternoon a preliminary injunction barring further Apotex sales of its generic version of the anti-coagulant drug Plavix. However, the Judge denied Bristol Myers motion for an order requiring a recall of the generic Plavix pills that already have been distributed. (Sanofi-Aventis v. Apotex, Inc., Civil Action No. 02-CV-2255 (SHS) (S.D.N.Y.) The Judge’s order can be immediately appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Absent a successful appeal, the injunction will remain in force until the end of the patent dispute. The trial is set for January 2007.

CBS Marketwatch had reported a significant drop in brand name Plavix sales preceding the issuance of this order. As I previously mused, the Court’s order is similar to closing the barn door after the horse is gone as massive quantities of the generic Plavix are now on the market.