As Lipitor Patent Expires, Pfizer Fights to Keep Users

Cholesterol drug's price should be coming down soon
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2011 5:25 PM CST

(Newser) – The biggest-selling drug of all time—Lipitor—is now available for production in generic form as Pfizer's patent on the cholesterol-lowering pill expired today, reports AFP. It's such a huge money-maker for Pfizer, however, that the company is rolling out all kinds of discounts and incentives to keep its 9 million users from switching, notes AP. Lipitor currently costs about $120 per month, and that should steadily decrease.

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Separately, American pharma company Watson Pharmaceuticals will sell an "authorized" generic version of atorvastatin calcium in tandem with Pfizer, and the two will share sales for five years. A company based in India, Ranbaxy, also plans a generic version in the coming months but has yet to get approval from the FDA. (Read more Lipitor stories.)

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