A New Life For Lipitor – OTC?

Are you surprised that Pfizer might have found a way to extend Lipitor?  You shouldn’t be.

As I talked about before, Lipitor is scheduled to go generic later this year.  Now, there are stories that Pfizer may try to take Lipitor over-the-counter (OTC).  As Ed Silverman (Pharmalot) points out, this has been tried before with Mevacor.  Has anything really changed since then?  I don’t know much about any outcomes from the UK’s allowance of Mevacor to be sold BTC (behind-the-counter), but it would be a good point of information.

The prior questions about consumer behavior with an OTC statin all still apply:

  • Will the right people use them?
  • Will there be over-use?
  • Will this create unnecessary risks?
  • Will people monitor themselves appropriately?

Since statins certainly have side effects, this is a real question.

IMHO – I would think an OTC strategy is a low likelihood unless there is some new data.

On the other hand, with home monitoring of cholesterol tests, there have been some changes.  This might be another source of data.  Who’s using these?  Have they impacted their use of medication?

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One Response to “A New Life For Lipitor – OTC?”

  1. As with any other medications going OTC, there is the fear that it could be misused. I am hoping those who start taking Lipitor will perhaps have a recommendation from their doctor and the OTC status will just make it easier for them to pick it up instead of having to wait for a prescription from their doctor (when they already know the issue is high cholersterol). Who knows though, you brought up some valid questions.

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