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Ideas and Opinions |

Lipitor Goes Generic: Business as Usual or More Big Business?

Lisa Gill; John Santa, MD, MPH; Doris L. Peter, PhD; and Joel Keehn, MS
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From Consumer Reports, Yonkers, New York.

Potential Conflicts of Interest: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M12-0361.

Requests for Single Reprints: John Santa, MD, MPH, Consumer Reports, 101 Truman Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10703; e-mail, HealthImpact@cr.consumer.org.

Current Author Addresses: Ms. Gill, Drs. Santa and Peter, and Mr. Keehn: Consumer Reports, 101 Truman Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10703.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: L. Gill, J. Santa, J. Keehn.

Analysis and interpretation of the data: L. Gill, J. Santa, J. Keehn.

Drafting of the article: L. Gill, J. Santa, J. Keehn.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: L. Gill, J. Santa, D.L. Peter, J. Keehn.

Final approval of the article: L. Gill, J. Santa, D.L. Peter.

Obtaining of funding: J. Santa, D.L. Peter.

Administrative, technical, or logistic support: L. Gill, J. Santa.

Collection and assembly of data: L. Gill, J. Santa.

Ann Intern Med. 2012;156(12):892-893. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-156-12-201206190-00420
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The lipid-lowering drug atorvastatin converted from brand only (Lipitor) to generic in late 2011. Certain insurers have reportedly instructed some pharmacies to fill prescriptions with Lipitor, even if patients present with a prescription for generic atorvastatin. This commentary discusses Lipitor versus the generic atorvastatin and the unusual pricing situation and provides advice for physicians whose patients have been taking Lipitor.

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Updates to Lipitor pricing and availability
Posted on May 14, 2012
Lisa, Gill, Editor, John Santa, MD, Doris Peter, PhD, Joel Keehn, MS
Consumer Reports
Conflict of Interest: None Declared

Since this article first appeared on annals.org in March 2012, new developments have occurred. In May 2012, Pfizer reported that they stopped making deals with health plans to offer Lipitor at the lowest-price copay tiers. Pfizer also made two changes to their $4 Lipitor co-pay program: It will now pay up to $75 of the cost of a patient's copay for Lipitor (up from the $50 previously offered) and the program will expire in December 2014 instead of at the end of 2012. In addition, Medicare.gov has added atorvastatin to the list of medications that patients can add to their search of Part D plans.

Conflict of Interest:

None declared

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