Plavix

Top-Selling Drugs About to Lose Patent Protection

The pharmaceutical industry is about to fall off a cliff -- a patent cliff. Over the next few years, some of the world's most popular and lucrative medicines will go off patent, and generic competition will siphon an estimated quarter of a trillion dollars from companies' bottom lines. Here's a rundown:

AstraZeneca's Heart Drug Brilinta: The FDA Is Ready to Rule

More than a year after AstraZeneca filed for approval of its heart drug Brilinta, the FDA will make its decision on Thursday. A large study showed the blood thinner worked better than Plavix for treating acute coronary syndrome -- but approval isn't a sure thing, due in part to some oddities in the study's results.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Earnings Top Estimates

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), which sells blood thinner Plavix, today reported better-than-expected third quarter earnings, mainly due to cost cuts. Revenue, however, fell short of expectations.

AstraZeneca Earnings Rise 9% on Strong Sales

AstraZeneca's core earnings per share rose 9% in the second quarter, helped by a strong performance in emerging markets. While the British pharmaceutical warned the rest of the year will be "challenging," it also raised its 2010 earnings forecast for the third time this year.

Sanofi-Aventis Earnings Beat Expectations

Sanofi-Aventis reported its second-quarter net profit rose 7.6% to 2.48 billion euros, beating expectations. But the French drugmaker warned that earnings may fall for the full year, and it remained silent about its rumored plan to make a friendly bid for Genzyme.