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Sunday, August 7, 2011


Pfizer Looks to Sell Nonprescription Lipitor

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Pfizer is looking to sell an over-the-counter version of Lipitor, the world's best-selling drug, according to reports.

Pfizer loses patent protection on the drug in November. The drug takes in yearly sales of about $11 billion.

The Wall Street Journal said Pfizer is likely to have difficulty selling a nonprescription form of Lipitor because the Food and Drug Administration previously has rejected the idea of allowing over-the-counter versions of cholesterol drugs in the same class as Lipitor, known as statins.

Pfizer declined to either confirm or deny its intention to The New York Times.

"We can confirm that we have strategic plans in place for Lipitor's loss of exclusivity and will comment no further at this time," Raymond F. Kerins Jr., a spokesman for the company, told the Times.

A person close to the situation told the Times a nonprescription version of Lipitor wasn't the only option pursued by Pfizer. Another would be a so-called branded generic version. The company might pursue both options, the newspaper reported.

by Joseph Woelfel

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