Monday, March 03, 2014

Superior Quality Presumed

Impact upon Pfizer of Lipitor patent expiration in 2011
Two years after the patent expired, Pfizer wants to make Lipitor an over-the-counter medication, i.e., available without a prescription. [bold added]
Over-the-counter Lipitor could be a boon to Pfizer by helping recapture a portion of the market it has lost since low-cost generic versions hit the market beginning in late 2011. Pfizer's Lipitor sales tumbled to $2.3 billion last year from a peak of nearly $13 billion in 2006. Goldman Sachs estimates that over-the-counter Lipitor could generate more than $1 billion in annual sales.
Generic from CVS
Ten years ago I began taking a daily dose of 10 mg of Lipitor, which reduced total cholesterol below the recommended target of 200 mg/dL. In 2011 the insurance company required a switch to the generic Atorvastatin which occurred, thankfully, with no ill effect.

The generic tablets cost, out-of-pocket after insurance, about 40 cents each or $146 annually. I'd be willing to go back to Lipitor and pay for the name (and presumed superior quality) up to $200 per year. If Pfizer prices it higher, well, the Atorvastatin has been doing just fine. © 2014 Stephen Yuen

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