November 23, 2012 |
Drug maker Ranbaxy Laboratories Inc. has recalled some of its generic version of Lipitor in the U.S. after finding small glass particles in some batches. The Indian company's recall of atorvastatin calcium, a generic form of Pfizer Inc.'s top-selling Lipitor, may temporarily disrupt supplies in the U.S. while the company conducts an investigation into these problems with the drug. Ranbaxy said the recall involves 10, 20 and 40-milligram dosage strength in 90 and 500-count bottles.
October 5, 2012 |
The Food and Drug Administration took a highly unusual step this week: It acknowledged that a widely used generic drug -- a copycat of the antidepressant Wellbutrin XL -- was not the equivalent of the original drug produced by GlaxoSmithKline since 2003. The move prompted the world's largest manufacturer of generic drugs, Israel-based Teva Pharmaceuticals, to stop shipping its generic extended-release bupropion -- marketed as Budeprion 300 mg XL-- and to remove it from U.S. shelves.
January 23, 2012
Thanks for assisting your readers now negotiating the array of issues surrounding Lipitor (atorvastatin) and the expiration of its patent ["The New Deal With Lipitor," Jan. 16]. When a drug has generated $81 billion, the manufacturer will do all it can to preserve a portion of that income stream. They cite the drug's fine track record and play on the status of the brand. Patients should consider that neither track records nor status can lower cholesterol. It will take at least six months for this drug to be fully available with generic pricing.
November 30, 2011 |
Lipitor, the top-selling drug that lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) will cease being Pfizer's cash cow as of Wednesday. The brand-name drug will still be available, but now patients can ask for the less-expensive generic version, called atorvastin. Lipitor generated more than $100 billion in revenue for Pfizer since it was approved in 1997. Patients need not fear that generic atorvastatin will be an inferior medication. According a 2010 study in the journal Clinical Therapeutics , patients receiving Lipitor in an eight-week study had a 48% reduction in LDL cholesterol compared to a 44% reduction among people taking the generic.
June 24, 2011 |
Generic drugs have long held an unusual place in the world of medicine. They have the same ingredients, the same power to treat and the same potential to harm as brand-name prescription drugs. But they’re sold under different names at bargain-rate prices. They’re often manufactured overseas , making them visitors that live under their own set of rules. Now the U.S. Supreme Court has given these drugs a sort of diplomatic immunity. In a 5-4 split -- with the conservative wing on the winning side -- the court ruled that patients can’t sue makers of generic drugs for complications or side effects not listed on labels.
June 2, 2011 |
In 2001, Abbott Laboratories spent nearly $7 billion on the biggest acquisition in the company's 123-year history, primarily to get access to one drug: Humira. Since then, the North Chicago drug giant has raked in more than $24 billion in sales from Humira, a pricey medicine derived from human cells and used to treat a variety of autoimmune diseases. This year, Humira is forecast to have its biggest year ever, with some analysts projecting more than $7 billion in sales. But the national healthcare law is intended to put the brakes on the profit bonanza from Humira, as well as many other biotechnology drugs, by opening up the sector to generic competition.