Pfizer Seeks OTC Switch for Lipitor

Does pharmacy benefit when widely-used prescription drugs go OTC, or does our profession benefit more when they go generic?

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.