States Reject Plavix Generic Pact

A deal between Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) to delay generic competition of their blood-thinning drug has been rejected by state attorneys general, according to published media reports.

The Wall Street Journal's online version reported late Friday that the move blocks a March legal settlement that called for Bristol-Myers and Sanofi-Aventis to pay Canada's Apotex at least $40 million to delay its generic version of Plavix until 2011, when Plavix's patent expires.

Paris-based Sanofi developed Plavix, and sells it outside the U.S. Bristol-Myers markets the drug in the U.S. Plavix is the world's No. 2 drug, with $5.9 billion in global sales last year, the Journal said.

The settlement would have protected at least $30 billion in revenue, assuming that Plavix sales merely held ground during the next five years, according to the Journal.

The announcement follows news that the Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into the two companies' conduct relating to the agreement. Shares of Bristol-Myers slipped 2.3% in after-hours trading to $23.90 on Instinet.

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