In the never-ending battle to bring generic versions of sanofi-aventis'
There's just one problem. According to The Wall Street Journal, the people advocating on Sanofi's behalf have received financial support from the company in the past. How much the FDA takes their opinion into consideration remains to be seen.
This isn't small potatoes, either; Lovenox registered about $2.2 billion worth of sales in the U.S. last year. With only three companies, Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceutical
Of course, that's if the FDA ever signs off on an approval. Unlike for branded drugs, the agency doesn't have any mandated goals for deciding upon generic-drug marketing applications. It's had Teva's and Amphastar's applications since 2003 and Momenta's since 2005. Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick Momenta might seem like the underdog, but it has help from generic-drug giant Novartis
The bigger issue for the companies may be whether doctors will prescribe generics. Sure, experts with financial ties to Sanofi probably aren't the most unbiased of sources, but how concerned will other physicians be about the use of generic Lovenox even if the FDA signs off? Pharmacists are generally allowed to substitute generics at will, but most prescription forms have a box to override that power.
That check box could become Sanofi's next secret weapon.