Top selling branded Pharmaceutical
Lipitor, widely prescribed for lowering blood cholesterol, was the top-selling branded pharmaceutical in the world in 2008 with sales of $12.4 billion. U.S. Patent No. 5, 273, 995, which covered atorvastatin (the active ingredient in Lipitor), expired on November 30, 2011. Lipitor is now available from the generic pharmaceutical company Ranbaxy Laboratories. Originally set to expire in May 2011, the expiration was extended for six months because Pfizer did research after the drug was approved to determine its safety and effectiveness in children. Ranbaxy Laboratories now has a 180-day period of exclusivity to market a generic form of Lipitor (atorvastatin), after which any generic company can make and sell the drug without concern of the ‘995 patent. Teva Pharmaceuticals, currently selling generic Lipitor in Canada, has an agreement with Ranbaxy to aid in supplying the drug. To stave off competition, Pfizer is offering a $4 co-payment card and direct delivery to privately insured customers. More information can be found here.
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