TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Lipitor is so valuable that its maker, Pfizer Inc., is practically paying people to keep taking the blockbuster cholesterol medicine after generic competition hits the U.S. market this week.
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"We want to make sure that patients who are currently taking Lipitor and want to continue ... have the opportunity to do so," said David Simmons, who heads Pfizer's Established Products business. He said research shows more than a third of patients want to stay on Lipitor.
Pfizer also is continuing assistance programs that subsidize uninsured patients wanting Lipitor, which costs about $115 to $160 a month, depending on dosage. Generic Lipitor, called atorvastatin, should cost 30 percent to 50 percent less.