The European Medicines Agency (EMEA) has given a positive recommendation to six generic versions of clopidogrel. Such recommendations are normally endorsed by the European Commission within a few weeks, so generic clopidogrel should be available in most European countries in the very near future.
Four of the six generics are from the Swiss company Acino, one is from the Israeli company Teva, and one from the Greek firm Pharmathen. Generic clopidogrel is already available in Germany.
Clopidogrel, which is sold under the brand name Plavix by Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb, was the second-biggest selling drug worldwide in 2008, with sales of more than US$ 8 billion. The generic competitors have been the subject of a long-term patent dispute, and Sanofi-Aventis said it would contest the new generics and defend its intellectual property rights.