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Businesses Medicine Patents United States Science

Patent Expires On Best Selling Drug of All Time 491

Hugh Pickens writes "The U.S. patent has just expired on Lipitor, the best-selling drug of all time, as the first generic versions go on sale, marking the end of a brand that has dominated the drug industry, lowered the cholesterol of tens of millions of patients, and generated $10.7 billion last year in annual sales. But drug manufacturer Pfizer, dependent on Lipitor for almost one-fifth of the company's revenue, does not intend to go down without a fight. Pfizer is employing unprecedented tactics to hold onto as many Lipitor prescriptions as it can with an aggressive marketing plan and forging deals with insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and patients to meet or beat the price of its generic replacements because even at the lower price, Pfizer has a huge profit margin because of the relatively low cost of materials for Lipitor. Some deals require pharmacies to reject prescriptions for low-cost generics and substitute a discounted name-brand Lipitor while other deals block generic makers from mail-order services that account for an estimated 40 percent of all Lipitor prescriptions. 'Pfizer's tactic of dressing up as a generics company is pulling the rug under the incentive system created to foster the development of generic drugs,' says attorney David A. Balto."
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Patent Expires On Best Selling Drug of All Time

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  • by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @08:37PM (#38221248) Journal

    Today Pfizer announced results of a new study showing that cholesterol has nothing to do with any health problems whatsoever, but water can kill you. Simultaneously they announced the start of trials of a new drug to control this menace, tentatively named hydroprofitor.

  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @08:44PM (#38221324) Homepage Journal

    Save! Save! Save! Operators standing by! Call now! 1-800-DOT-COMM to place your order!

    Ugh. I can just hear the wretched radio adverts already...

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @08:45PM (#38221336)

    One of the symptoms of being a haterade addict is that you bring it up in unrelated threads.

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @09:26PM (#38221698)

    You are just on your knees (a very comfortable position for a fanboi though). ... And to the serial downmodding assholes...


    You remind me of a friend I had that wrote me a three page email about how carpal tunnel was killing him.

  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @09:29PM (#38221724)

    > Now unless you're an idiotic, dirty, lazy hippie who thinks everything should be free, you will have to admit that unless people are going to get paid, there is no way they are going to spend all that time and effort on drug development even if the end result means lives are saved.

    I was going to mod you down as troll/flamebait since you seem to be an ignorant greedy capitalist but that wouldn't encourage people to actually discuss and raise above this ignorance. Namely,

    a) you are generalizing and making claims without any justification or evidence that:

    i) hippies are idiotic, (Oh No! Some people think that there is MORE to life then just money. How idiotic of them for wanting to share!)

    ii) _only_ hippies think everything should be free, (You _do_ realize that animals have lived on this planet millions of years without "paying" anyone. The universe provides everything you need to exist -- it is only greedy capitalists unable to imagine a world without money.)

    b) that altruism is idiotic, (You _have_ heard of Philanthropy, right? I guess no one does anything for the betterment of mankind for free.)

    c) that is is OK to put a price on saving a human life. (i.e. "Sorry, you can't afford this drug -- you deserve to die.")

    > Turns out the profit motive is a terrific way to get people to do useful things. Who'da thunk that people were willing to work so hard in order to get ahead. Amazing, isn't it?

    Now I don't disagree with you that, yes, money provides a great incentive, but thankfully dinosaurs that think money is the _only_ way to motivate people are dying. The problem with big pharma is that basically it only caters to those who can afford to live, or put another away, it sends the message that "you only have the right to life IF you can afford it." I'm sorry but EVERYONE has the right to life, regardless of the cost. It is only an idiotic system that places different values on people's lives -- namely those that can afford to not die. Sorry, but one day you will grow up and realize that the only humane way is to _remove_ PROFITING from people dieing.

  • by Absolut187 ( 816431 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @10:48PM (#38222436) Homepage

    "I don't care what it costs, people will do the research anyway because they know someone or themselves are afflicted with the condition."

    Aww.. That's adorable. You are so cute.

User hostile.