Posted by: Tony Carson | 3 November, 2007

Lipitor vs statin; a battle of the $ vs the ¢

The on-going battle of the brand drug versus the generic is taking place in spades and in advertisements.

Is the generic equivalent of Liptior, simvastatin, as good at reducing cholesterol build-up in the arteries?

Reading this NY Times article Maker of Lipitor Digs In to Fight Generic Rival is a reminder that those who hold an expiring copywrite/[patent are loath to give it up, no matter how much profits they have enjoyed by their monopoly.

Many doctors have come to see simvastatin as a viable substitute for Lipitor. Studies show that at commonly prescribed doses Lipitor and simvastatin are equally effective at reducing LDL cholesterol, the so-called bad cholesterol.

A big difference is that Lipitor costs $2.50 to $3 a day, while simvastatin sells for 75 cents to $1 a day at most retail pharmacies, and as little as 10 cents a day at discount pharmacies like Costco’s.

It is shaping up to be the biggest shift yet to a generic drug, potentially saving the nation $2 billion a year or more in prescription costs.

And scientists and doctors say that for most of the 16 million people in America who take drugs to reduce cholesterol, the low-priced alternative will work as well as the name-brand medicine — Lipitor, which is made by Pfizer and is the nation’s most widely prescribed drug.


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