French pharmaceutical group Sanofi said on Thursday its third quarter net profit drop by 7.4 percent to 2.2 billion euros ($2.9 billion) as the expiration of patents ate into sales. While sales rose by 3.3 percent on a headline basis to 9.0 billion euros, they dropped by 3.1 percent when corrected for exchange rate fluctuations. \"The loss of exclusivity for Eloxatin in August in the U.S. marks the final step in the genericization of our legacy blockbusters,\" Sanofi CEO Christopher Viehbacher said in a statement. The company estimated loss of sales to generics at 448 million euros at constant exchange rates in the third quarter. For the first nine months of the year, net profit was down 1.7 percent to 6.6 billion euros, an 8.6 percent drop on a constant exchange rate basis. However, the company revised its 2012 earnings forecast to a drop of 12 percent on a constant exchange rate basis, from previous guidance of a 12 to 15 percent drop.