Pfizer’s Lipitor patent runs out, prepares for generics

Oooh, some day somebody's gonna make you want to turn around and say goodbye.

Until then, baby, are you gonna let them hold you down and make you cry? Pfizer lost patent protection in its cholesterol drug, Lipitor, on Wednesday; however, the company said it is hoping to hold on to a third of the three million Americans who take the drug. Lipitor currently generates roughly 20% of the Pfizer’s revenue and is the highest selling drug of all time.

The company, citing internal research, said, “More than one-third of patients currently taking Lipitor would like to stay on Lipitor.” The company will aggressively market the drug in the first six months of competition against generic manufacturers when only two competitors will be present, after which it will pull back on the campaign. Additionally, the company has reached agreements with some insurers and benefit managers that will allow patients to purchase Lipitor for the same price or less than a generic alternative.

Ranbaxy Laboratories and Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI) are both ready to offer a generic form of Lipitor. Watson has already began shipping the generics, calling it the “largest generic product launch in U.S. history.” Meanwhile, Ranbaxy is waiting for a ban on U.S. sales to be lifted following certain quality control lapses at the company’s Indian factories. Some believe Teva (TEVA) will step in to help supply if Ranbaxy does not receive FDA approval.

But don't you know? Things can change. Things'll go your way, if you hold on for one more day...

Pfizer (PFE : NYSE : US$20.07), Net Change: 0.67, % Change: 3.45%, Volume: 70,538,677

Canaccord Genuity Inc. is a global investment banking and institutional brokerage firm. Their website is www.canaccordgenuity.com.

For disclosures of any equities mentioned here please see: http://www.canaccordgenuity.com/en/ODD/pages/disclosures.aspx

About the Author

Canaccord Genuity Inc. is a global investment banking and institutional brokerage firm. Their website is www.canaccordgenuity.com.

For disclosures of any equities mentioned here please see: http://www.canaccordgenuity.com/en/ODD/pages/disclosures.aspx.

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