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Is an Over the Counter Version
of Lipitor in the Works?

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Update: Pfizer wanted to create and OTC statin drug product when their patent on Lipitor gave out. However, after a trial run, the pharmaceutical giant decided to shelve the idea. More on the trial run and Pfizer's Decision to Quit Over-The_Counter Lipitor Program.

Original post: Pharmaceutical giant pfizer loses their patent on lipitor; will an over the counter version result? And will an OTC statin drug work as well as it's expensive counterpart?


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Interesting news on the statin drug front -- just read that Pfizer, the company that gave us lipitor, has lost their patent on the drug. This means other drug manufacturers could now make their own brand of lipitor, a popular statin drug.

What would an OTC statin drug mean?

Well, for Pfizer it may mean massive loss of sales unless they themselves come out with the over the counter version first. For consumers, assuming the OTC formulas work as well as prescription lipitor, the main difference will be quite a big one in the check out aisle. Their statin drugs should cost a LOT less.

The FDA isn't too keen on this idea apparently, judging from other companies that have tried to get over the counter versions of other drugs passed. The FDA thinks that a doctor needs to be involved or people might take the drugs who should not really be taking them.

One big risk I can see is that someone who might not know the contraindications for taking statins if you have liver disease. Without a doctor to check liver function and evaluate whether the liver can handle a statin drug, the consumer might end up taking a drug that could damage their liver, says the FDA.

Learn more about side effects and risks when taking statin drugs and specifically when taking Lipitor. Interesting side note... I used to link a page on the lipitor website that offered a risk assessment test for those considering lipitor. It seems to have been removed.

Health Care Disclaimer: If you are taking statins, it is vital to get the proper, regular blood tests to evaluate how your body is handling the drugs. Ask your doctor about the risks and side effects of statin drugs.