In what could be called a very high stakes and profit game of playground mudslinging, Sanofi seems to have been pulled into the principal's office and disciplined. The French Competition Authority, which oversees antitrust issues, has fined the French pharmaceutical giant 40.6 million euros ($52.7 million). The reasons behind the suit stem from the loss of exclusivity of the blood-thinning drug Plavix and entry of generics into the market.

Israel-based Teva pharmaceutical Industries filed the complaint, stating that Sanofi had encouraged health professionals to prescribe nongeneric forms of the blockbuster drug instead of cheaper generics that have the same active ingredient. Sanofi drug representatives had told doctors and pharmacies that the generics were unsafe and ineffective compared to the original drug, warning them that they may be liable if the generic caused problems for patients.

In the United States, the patent for Plavix expired in May 2012 after a six-month extension, and generics were then approved for sale. In June 2009, the European Medicines Agency approved six generic versions of the drug. The Competition Authority stated that Sanofi "abused its dominant position" in the market for financial gain.

The translated press release from the French Competition Authority can be found here.