Blogs: The Reinvented Pharmacist

Pfizer Seeks OTC Switch for Lipitor

Published Online: Thursday, August 11, 2011
A recent news report mentioned that Pfizer was planning to request approval from the FDA to make Lipitor, the largest selling statin agent, to over-the-counter (OTC) status. It’s interesting to note that Merck was unsuccessful when it tried to move Mevacor to OTC status before they lost the patent and it went generic (See Pharmacy Times’ full article).

Isn’t this an interesting development? Will Pfizer be more successful than Merck in trying to convert Mevacor to OTC status, perhaps because Lipitor has been used by so many statin users? Is Pfizer motivated more by dollars or the benefit to the patient? Does pharmacy benefit when widely-used prescription drugs go OTC—or does our profession benefit more when they go generic? Which is better for patients?

Please share your opinions.
Fred Eckel, RPh, MS, Editor-in-Chief of Pharmacy Times
Blog Info
This blog focuses on what our Editor-in-Chief sees as the future of pharmacy.
Author Bio
Fred Eckel, RPh, MS, is the Editor-in-Chief of Pharmacy Times, a position he has held since 2002. Mr. Eckel is a professor at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He serves as executive director of the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists.

In this blog, Eckel will provide commentary on relevant issues impacting pharmacists and pharmacy professionals, including the merging of pharmacy benefit managers, the implications of health care reform, the conversion of major drugs from prescription to over-the-counter, trends in pharmacy careers, and opioid abuse. He will also discuss legislative issues that impact pharmacists, and comment on the evolving role of the pharmacist.
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