So it looks like at the end of next week, we’re going to run out of generic Plavix. I’ve not followed the business drama of Big Pharma in a little while because I find it dull, so I have no commentary on the outcome of the lawsuit, which I presume has been settled in S-A and BMS’s favor. Apotex had a good run while it lasted. I mentioned in September that we were warned that this might happen.
In any event, it looks like it’s for real. As far as I know, this is the only time in recent history where a generic has been withdrawn. I think I recall similar things happening for Lanoxin (digoxin) and Synthroid (levothyroxine), but generics for those drugs were withdrawn because of problems with bioequivalence rather than as a result of litigation.
It’s going to suck explaining the reasons why clopidogrel is temporarily going the way of the Dodo. People don’t take too kindly to the idea of their copayments doubling (or more). I’m thinking I should write a little handout for people explaining what happened so we don’t have to have the same conversation 500 times. After telling something a dozen or so times, you’ve heard all the wisecracks and complaints that such a topic engenders, and it just gets redundant and tiresome.
I also think the idea of jerking patients/consumers around like this is ethically wrong, patents and the justice system be damned. But then morality is entirely dependent on one’s point of view, now isn’t it?
[tags]Medicine, pharmacy, big pharma, plavix, clopidogrel, ethics[/tags]