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Generic Zocor Drugs Make Lipitor Harder to Get - Cholesterol Lowering Drugs Becoming Less Expensive As Insurers Balk at Brand Names

July 10th 2006

Generic Zocor Drugs Make Lipitor Harder to Get - Cholesterol Lowering Drugs Becoming Less Expensive As Insurers Balk at Brand Names


Drug companies have been under heavy pressure by the insurance industry and other consumer groups to lower the cost of prescription drugs.  Since Lipitor is the most prescribed brand name drug in the world, news that the Statin drug is getting harder and more expensive to get raised some eyebrows.

The national newspaper, USA Today, examined how some U.S. residents have begun to find that the anti-cholesterol medication, Lipitor, more difficult to get a prescription for.  According to the report Lipitor, manufactured by Pfizer, has become "harder and more expensive to get" as employers encourage use of generic medications to reduce prescription drug costs.

Last month generic versions of the competing drug Zoror hit the market.  This comes at a bad time for Merck, the maker of Zocor, who has been facing lawsuits concerning their Vioxx pain reliever. United Press International reported that Novartis filed suit last month against a potential rival company, Teva, seeking to block the competitor from becoming the first to market a generic version of Zocor.


There will be changes on the horizon for the cholesterol lowering drug industry. Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs reported that 60% of U.S. residents who take brand-name, anti-cholesterol medications could safely switch to generic Zocor.  This could save between $7 billion and $11 billion annually. 

But Pfizer is fighting back.  In response to pressure to switch to lower price generics, the company has launched new Lipitor advertisements and free trial offers of the medication.  Pfizer says that studies indicate that Lipitor is more effective than Zocor at reducing cholesterol levels while limiting the risk for heart and stroke.

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Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:51 PM