Generic for Lipitor Now Available
As of December 1, 2011, the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor, the best-selling prescription drug in world history, will be available as a generic drug called Atorvastatin. Two generic drugmakers, Ranbaxy and Watson, can start selling generic Atorvastatin in the U.S. right away. However, due to complex generic drug laws, other generic drugmakers will have to wait 180 days, until May 2012, to offer their own generic versions of Lipitor. Pfizer, the giant drug company that makes Lipitor, isn’t taking too well. A series of unprecedented moves, Pfizer plans to make brand-name Lipitor competitive with generic atorvastatin.
For those of you with Health Insurance coverage, details about how atorvastatin and Lipitor will change on non-Medicare plans are being finalized and will be communicated later this week. The brand name drug Lipitor will be a preferred brand until 12/31/11 for all Medicare Advantage and PDP plan formularies, except for members on Formulary 8 (the formulary used for basic plans) where Lipitor is non-formulary. On 1/1/12, the brand name drug Lipitor will be considered a non-formulary drug for all Medicare MAPD and PDP plan formularies.
Effective immediately, Express Scripts will continue to dispense Lipitor through the home delivery program. Members participating in the home delivery program will pay the same copayment as for the generic atorvastatin.
Multiple manufacturers are expected to market the generic within six months. Generic atorvastatin cost and additional manufacturer availability will continue to be monitored to allow for tier adjustments as soon as possible.