The war over Lipitor
May 6, 2011
By Katherine Eban
Just after Thanksgiving this year, if all goes as planned, the pharmaceutical industry will pass a historic milestone: A generic version of Lipitor -- the biggest-selling prescription drug on the face of the earth -- will go on sale for the first time in the U.S.
You'd think that in this era of generic-drug dominance, making the transition to a nonbranded version of Pfizer's vaunted cholesterol-fighting statin would be smooth, or at least controlled. And indeed, that's precisely how it seemed -- until just a few months ago. Now the process appears to have unraveled, leaving serious questions about who will make the cheaper form of Lipitor, whether the price will really drop, and most disturbing of all, whether patients will be able to trust that the medication is safe. Read more