The Food and Drug Administration has approved seven companies to make generic forms of the popular blood thinner drug Plavix.
According to a CBS News report, the following companies have been approved to manufacture generic Plavix (clopidogrel): Apotex Corp., Aurobindo Pharma, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Roxanne Laboratories, Sun Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Torrent Pharmaceuticals. The drug will be available in its standard 75 milligram dose. Before this week, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis shared the revenues generated by this top-selling drug, which carried a premium price tag.
Prior to its patent expiring, the marketers of the brand-name version had been offering deals to delay the release of the generic versions, giving large sums of cash to the prospective makers of them in exchange for them waiting to release their drug. When a patent expires on a brand-name drug, sales drop significantly over a short period of time. Sales of Plavix had topped $9 billion a year, according to the report.
Plavix carried a premium price tag and a monthly prescription of the drug cost about $200 for the average patient. Though Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi have drastically reduced the cost to about $120 a month at some pharmacies temporarily but they won’t be able to match the price of generics, which are now selling for about $40 a month at national pharmacies. It can be had for just $10 on some insurance co-pays.