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Shift From Lipitor to Zocor Recommended

October 05, 2005|From Associated Press

Pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts Inc. is recommending that clients remove cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor from their preferred drug lists next year to promote the use of a rival product, Zocor, which will become significantly cheaper in June when it loses patent protection.

Drugs on the preferred list have lower co-payments than competing medicines, making them more attractive to patients. Analysts had been anticipating attempts to foster use of generic Zocor as companies, unions and others who provide health benefits seek ways to shrink spiraling healthcare costs, but the question remains whether they will really affect Lipitor sales.

Pfizer's Lipitor is the world's bestselling drug with revenue of $10.86 billion last year.

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* Abbott Laboratories Inc. won U.S. regulatory approval to expand use of its drug Humira for early treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, a joint-destroying disease.

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