Bristol Myers Squibb chief: Plavix is not everything
9 August 2006 00:00 in Pharmaceutical Company Product News
The chief executive officer Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has sought to allay fears over the potential damage the company could suffer from the introduction of a generic version of Plavix, its best-selling platelet aggression inhibitor.
In a letter to the company's shareholders, Peter Dolan condemned Apotex's decision to file a generic version of Plavix in the US as an action that weakens patent protection, as well as creating a "negative environment" for research and development.
Furthermore, it said that its long-term development plans, formed in conjunction with French manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis, could be damaged by the introduction of a generic version of the drug, which could in turn harm other aspects of the company's development, both in the US and internationally.
However, Mr Dolan said BMS had a contingency plan installed for such an event and he highlighted the strong progress made in the company's product pipeline.
He stated: "While Plavix is a significant product for our company and for patients - and one clearly worth fighting to protect, as we are doing - it is important to remember that we have a number of key growth products that make up a promising portfolio for our future, as well as an outstanding pipeline.
"It is essential that we stay focused on maximising the many significant growth opportunities before us - including those in our vibrant health care businesses - as we continue to execute our strategy and transform our company."
Plavix, used in the treatment of coronary heart disease, was first submitted to the European Medicines Agency in 1997.
Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis had tried to agree a licensing deal with Apotex for the drug, but it was rejected by US anti-trust authorities.© Adfero Ltd
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