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s Sanofi prepares a do-or-die appeal to continue selling a pricey cholesterol drug, a key issue may turn on the extent to which patient access to the medicine is considered to be in the public interest.

The drug maker and its partner, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, lost a stunner when a federal court judge late Thursday issued a permanent injunction preventing the companies from marketing their Praluent injectable cholesterol medicine. The judge did so in response to a jury verdict last year that found the product infringed patents held by Amgen on its own drug, which is called Repatha. A lawsuit had been filed in 2014.

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