Lipitor Goes Generic

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The world’s best-selling prescription drug is going generic.

The top-selling cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor is about to get cheaper and that will be a big help to the millions of Americans who take it.

“I’m on fixed income and I imagine I’ll be taking it for the rest of my life,” Audrey Saltzman said.

The patent on the medication ended on Nov. 30, meaning generic equivalents will now be welcome in the marketplace.

“People tend to be afraid that by choosing a generic they are somehow getting an inferior medication and that’s really just not the case,” Dr. Tara Narula said.

“The generic has been tested by the FDA, so they have to prove it is bioequivalent to the brand name, it does work the exact same way, same side effect profile,” Paul Higginbotham said.

Drug maker Pfizer is hoping to lessen its financial losses by enticing consumers to stick with Lipitor. It’s offering the brand name drug at a discount at a $4 co-pay, which is less than the co-pay for many generic prescriptions. Pfizer’s six-month tactic is making it hard for generic drug manufacturers to match the low cost.

Lipitor was the first medicine to earn $10 billion a year, which is a quarter of Pfizer’s revenue over the past 10 years.

Government programs like Medicare will not pay for discounted brand name Lipitor, because the discounts could violate laws against kickbacks.


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One Comment

  1. Pfizer is only after profit says:

    Ninety-Nine Out of 100 People do Not Need Statin Drugs

    That these drugs have proliferated the market the way they have is a testimony to the power of marketing, corruption and corporate greed, because the odds are very high— greater than 100 to 1—that if you’re taking a statin, you don’t really need it.

    The ONLY subgroup that might benefit are those born with a genetic defect called familial hypercholesterolemia, as this makes them resistant to traditional measures of normalizing cholesterol.

    And, even more importantly, cholesterol is NOT the cause of heart disease.

    Statins are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, that is, they act by blocking the enzyme in your liver that is responsible for making cholesterol (HMG-CoA reductase). The fact that statin drugs cause side effects is well established—there are now 900 studies proving their adverse effects, which run the gamut from muscle problems to increased cancer risk.

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