Could a Generic Zocor ''Hurt'' The Statin Market?
January 17, 2006
A generic version of Zocor, the second best selling drug in the U.S., could result in consumers paying a good deal less for cholesterol pills. Zocor loses its patent protections in June, meaning a cheaper generic copy of the currently pricey drug may soon be available.
"Pretty Much Interchangeable"
Zocor, Lipitor, and other cholesterol drugs are likely to experience lessened sales as a result.
Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor, and other drugs in the "statin" class have been judged by many experts to be "pretty much interchangeable", so patients are likely to be pushed by insurance companies to use the less expensive generic brands when they are available.
Broad Medicare Drug Benefit
At the same time, Medicare is offering a broad drug benefit for the first time, increasing the probability that many seniors will be encouraged to shift to the cheapest possible version.
However, manufacturers of brand-name statin drugs say they believe doctors and patients will stick to their products, arguing that their brands are in fact superior.