May 19, 2012
Several Pharmas Get Approval To Make Generic Plavix
The popular blood thinning drug known as Plavix that sells for about $200 for a one month supply is about to go generic, dropping the price by as much 75 percent, and giving those who take the drug to reduce their risk of stroke and heart attack a little less stress at the checkout counter.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved Plavix to be manufactured generically by seven companies in the standard 75mg dosage. Those companies are: Apotex Corp., Aurobindo Pharma, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Roxanne Laboratories, Sun Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Torrent Pharmaceuticals. Four drugmakers -- Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Gate Pharmaceuticals, Mylan and Teva -- have also been approved to sell a higher 300mg dosage available to patients who have recently suffered a heart attack.
The generic versions of Plavix will begin to roll out at Walmart and Sam´s Club stores on Saturday for about $40 a month or a $10 copay with insurance.
The companies that jointly market the Plavix brand said they would try to keep customers loyal to their brand by offering discount coupons which could drop the price to no more than $37 a month, according to a report by the Associated Press (AP). But the program won℠t be covered by state or federal health programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, or to residents in Massachusetts, where such programs are prohibited.
Bristol-Myers and Sanofi have been splitting close to $9 billion a year in revenue from Plavix for years. That revenue began to decline in 2011 when the patent on the blood thinner expired in several European countries and other major markets. And now that it has expired in the US, generic drugmakers will likely take over the market, especially since close to half the world total of sales of Plavix comes from the US.
Plavix is taken by millions of people every day to prevent heart attacks and strokes by thinning the blood and preventing platelets from clumping together.