Launch of generic version of Lipitor may be delayed

Pfizer hopes to stave off the genericization of Lipitor by a year via a deal with Ranbaxy.

Originally, Lipitor (atorvastatin, Pfizer), the No. 1 selling drug in the United States by dollars, was supposed to go off patent in 2010. But under a new deal Pfizer just reached with Ranbaxy, the drug will be launched by the Indian drugmaker as a generic starting Nov. 30, 2011, instead. In return for delaying the launch, Ranbaxy will be given some concessions, such as getting to sell a generic version of Pfizer’s Caduet (amlodipine besylate/atorvastatin calcium) seven years before its patent expiration. The Pfizer-Ranbaxy deal still must be approved by federal regulators.

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