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Drugmaker pays $442m in Plavix patent case

NEW YORK - A major generic drugmaker has paid Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) and Sanofi SA more than $442 million to end a decade-long patent infringement case over blockbuster blood thinner Plavix, the world's second-best-selling drug.

Apotex Corp., Canada's biggest drugmaker, has paid the two brand-name drugmakers $442.2 million in damages for selling a generic version of Plavix in 2006.

Apotex launched its copycat version while it was still in a court dispute with Bristol and Sanofi, partners who jointly market Plavix. Apotex argued at the time that key patents on Plavix were invalid, doing what's called an "at-risk launch" of its generic version of Plavix.

A federal judge later ruled the Plavix patent was valid, leading to the damages payment.

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