Navigation Links
New Report Examines Efforts to Reduce the Impact of Generic Competition for Popular Drug Lipitor

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, AARP's Public Policy Institute released a new Rx Price Watch report examining efforts by Pfizer to reduce the impact of generic competition for the popular anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor. The report breaks down the unusually aggressive strategy reportedly undertaken by Lipitor's manufacturer before and after the drug's patent expired and discusses how the effort could become a model for other brand name drug manufacturers facing generic competition, ultimately increasing costs for consumers and publicly-funded programs like Medicare and Medicaid.


Pfizer reportedly employed a variety of tactics in an effort to retain Lipitor's revenue and market share, which had already been on the market for 14 years with a patent protected monopoly. These tactics included a "pay-for-delay" agreement, when a brand-name drug manufacturer pays a generic competitor to hold its competing product off the market for a certain period of time. The Federal Trade Commission estimates the increasing number of "pay-for-delay" agreements in recent years costs the American public an estimated $3.5 billion due to delayed price competition from other generic drugs. (These agreements are the focus of a soon-to-be-decided Supreme Court case FTC v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, et al.)

Further, Pfizer reportedly offered rebates to insurance plans and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). These rebates reduced the cost of Lipitor to less than the cost of the generic version of Lipitor (known as atorvastatin sodium) and in exchange, insurance plans and PBMs rejected atorvastatin claims for six months, effectively preventing pharmacists from dispensing the generic drug. Additionally, patients were offered a generic-level copayment.

"Strategies that hinder competition, like those reportedly employed by Pfizer, are harmful to consumers and all payers responsible for purchasing prescription drugs," said Debra Whitman, AARP Executive Vice President for Policy, Strategy and International Affairs. "We're hopeful these strategies are not a model for the future."

The report also highlights a dramatic increase in the price of Lipitor in the years immediately prior to its patent expiration. Between December 2006 and December 2011, the average annual retail cost of therapy for Lipitor 20 mg tablets increased by 50 percent from $1,290 to $1,939. In 2011, the year its patent expired, Lipitor's average annual retail price increase was 17.5 percent – more than four times the average annual retail price increase from 2006 to 2009.

"The rising cost of prescription drugs remains a real challenge for consumers, particularly older Americans. These price increases can result in higher out-of-pocket costs or even lead a person to stop taking a needed medication," continued Whitman. "Rising drug prices also increase spending in government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and as spending increases so does the cost burden shouldered by beneficiaries and taxpayers."

AARP continues to urge Congress to help lower prescription drug costs by creating more competition in the marketplace.  The Association has called for improving the pathway to approval of generic biologic drugs, reducing the exclusivity period for biologics, offering rebates for drugs dispensed to low-income Medicare beneficiaries and allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices directly with drug manufacturers. AARP is also advocating to end pay-for-delay agreements and filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case FTC. v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, et al.

The full PPI Rx Price Watch case study is available at

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin;; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Espanol, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at

Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Five-Year SIMPONI Data Reported In Treatment Of Signs And Symptoms Of Moderately To Severely Active Rheumatoid Arthritis
2. Research Report on Chinas High-End Medical Treatment Industry, 2013-2017
3. BioMEMS 2013 Report: Microsystem Device Market for Healthcare Applications
4. Lakeland Industries to Report Fiscal First Quarter Financial Results and Conduct Conference Call
5. Adamas Pharmaceuticals To Report Positive Phase 2/3 Results For ADS-5102 For The Treatment Of Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesia In Parkinsons Disease
6. Bioabsorbable Stents - Global Strategic Business Report - 2013 Profiles 16 Companies inside the Market
7. Adult and Adolescent Vaccines Market to 2018 Report - Promising Novel Candidates in Late-Stage Development and Prevnar Approval for Use in Adults to Drive Growth
8. Cantel Medical Reports EPS of $0.33 vs. $0.30 on 8% Sales Increase for Third Quarter Ended April 30, 2013
9. New Breakthroughs Allow Companies to Expand their Reach - Research Report on Perrigo, Auxilium, Actavis, Mylan, and Salix
10. ImmunGene and Collaborators Report Positive Results in Pre-clinical Studies of Novel Anti-CD20 Antibody-Interferon Alpha Fusion Protein
11. Isis Pharmaceuticals Reports Encouraging Data on ISIS-STAT3rx in Patients With Cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and ... Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment ... to their offering. --> ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" report ... has announced the addition of the "Self ... their offering. --> Research and Markets ... the "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... SYDNEY , Nov. 26, 2015  The total global ... nearly 7% over 2015-2016. Latin America ... Asia , (excluding Japan ), is ... continues to face increased healthcare expenditure. In 2013-2014, ... expenditure declined from 43.5% in 2008-2009 to 41.2% in 2013-2014. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Dr. Thomas Dunlap and Dr. Patrick Coleman ... with Emergency Medicine at St., Joseph Health System’s Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital , ... in similar ways and require time-critical intervention to avoid large area heart damage and ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the world-class ... (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product line. , Making the change ... version of Asterisk that will receive not only security fixes, but feature and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people ... customers choose to buy during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage ... need to search the Internet high and low to find the best massage chair ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... Somu Sivaramakrishnan announced today that he ... now offers travelers, value and care based Travel Services, including exclusive pricing on ... as, cabin upgrades and special amenities such as, shore excursions, discounted fares, travel ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Jobs in hospital medical laboratories and in the ... healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical Group . These fields, as well ... those searching for healthcare jobs through the company’s website, , The ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):