Generic Lipitor might not be on the market until November (or ever if Pfizer has its way…), but it looks like there’s another curve in the long and winding road to generic Lipitor. The New York Times is reporting that Pfizer is hoping to introduce an over-the-counter version of Lipitor after the drug loses its patent protection. Lipitor, a blockbuster drug for Pfizer, is due to lose its patent protection in November, and generic competition is expected to drive prices sharply downward. An over-the-counter version of Lipitor would be an alternative to a generic version, and still cheaper than the current brand-name prescription drug.
An over-the-counter version of Lipitor would also help Pfizer keep some of the $11 billion in revenue that Lipitorbrings into the pharma giant each year, but Pfizer still needs to win the approval of the FDA for an over-the-counter version of the drug.
That may or may not happen, since many experts are concerned over whether a statin like Lipitor can be taken safely without doctor supervision. Merck failed to win FDA approval for an over-the-counter version of its cholesterol drug Mevacor after three attempts. Bristol-Myers Squibb also failed to get FDA over-the-counter approval for its cholesterol drug Pravachol.
Do you take prescription Lipitor? Tell us about it!
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