Late-breaking development on the generic Lipitor front, and it’s good news. As we expected Watson Pharmaceuticals finally released its long-awaited generic version of Pfizer’s blockbuster cholesterol drug, Lipitor last week. Watson spokesman, Watson has shipped about 1.5 million bottles of their generic version of Lipitor, and shipped the generic Lipitor to 28,000 pharmacies. Some have already received shipments of generic Lipitor and have made it available to patients.
However, the good news is that the FDA has now also approved Ranbaxy Laboratories’ generic version of Lipitor, which had seemed to be on indefinite hold. In the last few years, the FDA had cited Ranbaxy for manufacturing deficiencies at plants in India, and has accused Ranbaxy of providing falsified data and test results in drug applications to the agency. As a result, The FDA had blocked shipments of Ranbaxy generic drugs to the U.S. and held up approval of new generic drugs. Rumors had been floating over the past week that Rumors had been floating over the past week that Ranbaxy was close to a financial settlement with the FDA that would include approval to sell generic Lipitor.
“This medication is widely used by people who must manage their high cholesterol over time, so it is important to have affordable treatment options,” Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement. “We are working very hard to get generic drugs to people as soon as the law will allow.”
According to a Ranbaxy spokesman, shipments of generic Lipitor are beginning immediately, which means one more source of generic Lipitor will be available to you soon. Prices are already dropping, but the big drop is expected next June when at least three more companies are expected to launch generic versions of Lipitor. Hurrah!
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