Pfizer aims to preserve Lipitor revenues by going OTC

Pfizer (PFE) is proceeding with plans to commercialize an over-the-counter version of its blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor.

The decision is controversial because some health experts believe that the drug should only be dispensed under a doctor's care due to the risk and to the difficulty for the general public of understanding how people's health is assessed.

A 1200-person trial is underway to determine if the lower dose of Lipitor reduces patients' cholesterol vs generics available by prescription and if patients follow through on getting their blood tested. The trial should conclude by the year-end.

The FDA has already rejected Merck's (MRK) plans to do the same with Mevacor.

Pfizer believes that it will be successful by virtue of "new and creative" ways to convey product instructions to patients.

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Comments (4)
  • maddynuke
    , contributor
    Comments (333) | Send Message
    Given that Lipitor is now under a class action lawsuit for contributing to diabetes in women, and for causing muscle collapse/failures, the company should be running away from over-the-counter sales!! Even though they are losing the patent and OTC sales may look like a good way to keep sales going, it would be foolish to have the OTC route. This would make the company even more vulnerable to lawsuits given the known issues with diabetes, muscle problems etc. It if does go OTC, it would be time to sell the stock!!!!
    3 Mar 2014, 12:37 PM Reply Like
  • akendzio
    , contributor
    Comments (26) | Send Message
    This is sensible enough. You are a great deal more likely to kill yourself with acetaminophen or ibuprofen than with a statin drug.
    3 Mar 2014, 05:48 PM Reply Like
  • khaz
    , contributor
    Comments (161) | Send Message
    Contributing to diabetes ... good luck proving it was the Lipitor and not that ice cream cone you stuffed in your face. I'm thinking PFE did that math and figured out that profit helping almost everybody over a certain age was greater than the settlements will prove to cost.
    3 Mar 2014, 09:55 PM Reply Like
  • maddynuke
    , contributor
    Comments (333) | Send Message
    Apparently there is sufficient data to show that Lipitor is causing increased Diabetes II risk:
    4 Mar 2014, 01:44 PM Reply Like
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