Apotex Escapes Prejudgment Interest, Still Owes Actual Damages

By Robyn Hagan Cain on October 19, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The appellate process is expensive, but appeals paid off this week for generic drug manufacturer Apotex Corporation in its ongoing dispute with French pharmaceutical maker Sanofi-Aventis (Sanofi).

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that a New York federal judge erred in ordering Apotex to pay over $107 million in prejudgment interest, in addition to $442.2 million in actual damages, to Sanofi, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The case was the third appeal in the Federal Circuit in a nearly decade old Hatch-Waxman dispute regarding clopidogrel bisulfate tablets, sold by Sanofi under the brand name Plavix. Plavix is the world's second biggest selling prescription drug. It generated $1.87 billion in sales during the second quarter of 2011, reports Reuters.

A judge enjoined Apotex from selling a generic version of Plavix in 2006. In resolving that case, Apotex and Sanofi executed a settlement agreement that set Sanofi's actual damages in the matter as 50 percent of Apotex's net sales. The agreement, however, was silent regarding prejudgment interest.

Last year, a district court ordered Apotex to pay $442,209,362 in damages, (50 percent of Apotex's net sales), and an additional $107,930,857 in prejudgment interest to Sanofi. Apotex appealed the award to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

In an opinion issued Tuesday, the Federal Circuit held that the settlement agreement between the two companies precluded the prejudgment interest award, but upheld the district court's decision that Apotex is jointly and severally liable for actual damages.

For more news and information from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, check out FindLaw's Federal Circuit blog.

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