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Lipitor Goes Generic, As Good as Crestor, But Pfizer Markets to Extend Brand Revenues

December 12, 2011 By: Nadia Category: Cholesterol, HealthCare, Medicine Advice, Medtipster, Prescription News, Prescription Savings

www.Medtipster.com Source: USA Today, 11/15/2011

On November 30, 2011, the cholesterol medication Lipitor (atorvastatin) converted to generic status. For the first six months, two companies, Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Ranbaxy Laboratories, Ltd., will produce the generic. After May 2012, several generic manufacturers are expected to enter the market.

Pfizer Inc., the maker of Lipitor is marketing hard for people to keep buying its brand-name version for the next 6 months. Pfizer is offering

  • patients a discount card to get Lipitor for $4 a month, and
  • rebates to insurance companies that cover Lipitor for the next 6 months.

This action by Pfizer will result in the costs of Lipitor being below generic prices and Pfizer will get 70% of the proceeds from one of the two versions sold now.

USA Today reported, that large doses of Lipitor and Crestor did about equally well according to a study of 1,385 patients presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Orlando. Crestor, made by AstraZeneca, “will be the last major statin not on patent,” said Cam Patterson, chief of cardiology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, who was not involved in the study. “The market for Crestor will go close to zero.”

Study findings

At the end of the two-year study,

  • Two-thirds of patients had less plaque in their arteries.
  • Both statins shrunk the size of plaque in the coronary artery by about 1%.
  • Patients on Crestor had a low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level of 63 milligrams per deciliter, while those who took Lipitor had a level of 70.
  • Patients on Crestor had a high-density lipoprotein (HDL) level of 50 milligrams per deciliter, compared to 49 for those who took Lipitor.

Nehal Mehta, a cardiologist with the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine, says there’s no way to know if such a small change actually matters, in terms of preventing heart attacks and saving lives. And relatively few patients would even benefit that much. Only about 20% of patients are taking such high doses — 40 milligrams daily of Crestor or 80 milligrams daily of Lipitor, says Mehta, who wasn’t involved in the study.

Such minor differences in cholesterol levels are unlikely to affect heart disease risk, Patterson says. “The bottom line is that there isn’t a difference” between drugs,” he says. “You should make your decision on other factors, like which one is least expensive.”

About Lipitor and Crestor

Cholesterol medications are the leading class of prescription drugs in the USA, with 255 million prescriptions a year. Lipitor — the country’s best-selling drug, with sales of $7.2 billion last year — will be available as a generic Dec. 1, at a fraction of its current cost. Patterson says there will be no reason for insurance plans to pay for Crestor — the eighth-leading drug in the USA, with $3.8 billion in annual sales. In fact, by next month, nearly all statins will be available generically. Generics now account for 78% of all retail prescriptions sold, according to IMS Health.

If You Don’t Lower Cholesterol Through Diet Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

May 07, 2010 By: admin Category: Cholesterol, Diet and Excercise, HealthCare, Medicine Advice, Medtipster, Prescription News

Medtipster is pleased to publish an article from it’s first guest author. Thank you Deborah!

www.Medtipster.com Source: Deborah H. Land, www.cholesterolloweringdiets.net

a. The Myth of Good and Bad Cholesterol   

For some people, cholesterol is bad because they do not know there are two types of it. These two types are LDL and HDL – the bad cholesterol is called LDL, while the good one is called HDL. Plaques can form on one’s arteries if you have a lot of LDL in the bloodstream. Eventually, your arteries will get narrow as a result of being clogged up and it will block off blood flow. The truth is, your high cholesterol is not caused by dietary cholesterol but by other things. This is caused by excessive amounts of Tran’s fat and saturated fat. Exercise and eating a lot of fiber and unsaturated fats will do a lot to keep cholesterol down.

 b. What Numbers Mean in Cholesterol

 Every adult should have their cholesterol checked at least every 5 years. When you get a cholesterol test, you’ll usually get back four different results. Here are the 4 categories and the healthy range you want to be in.

Total Cholesterol – less than 200 mg/dL (5.2 mmol/L)

LDL Cholesterol – less than 100 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L)

HDL Cholesterol – greater than 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L)

Triglycerides – less than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L)

If you are over or under the desired level on any category, it is usually indicative that a diet or exercise change is needed.

c. Vitamin E and How it Can Protect the Heart

 Vitamin E is an important vitamin found in leafy vegetables, nuts, and vegetable oils. It was previously believed that a Vitamin E supplement could reduce the risk of heart disease, but several studies in the last few years have shown that this supplement does little to prevent heart attacks or strokes.

 d. Five Fabulous Foods to Decrease Cholesterol Levels

 1. Oatmeal and Oat Bran: These contain a high amount of soluble fiber, which can lower LDL.

2. Fish: Fish is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which lowers LDL and raises HDL.

3. Nuts: Not only are nuts high in fiber, but they contain the healthy fats you need to keep LDL in check.

4. Plant Sterols: This is found in foods like margarine, salad dressing, orange juice, and functional cookies. 2 grams per day will lower your LDL by 10-15%.

5. Soy: This popular meat replacement can lower LDL by up to 3%.

e. Health Benefits of Plant Sterols 

Plant sterols can be found in foods such as Benecol Spread, granola bars, VitaTops Muffin Tops and fat free milk. To help your heart, you should eat a lot of plant sterols-packed food and stop eating foods with saturated fat. You should know that this does not balance out a diet rich in saturated fats. To be in control of your cholesterol, you should still eat healthy and exercise often.

About the Author – Deborah H. Land writes for the cholesterol diet tips  blog (www.cholesterolloweringdiets.net), her personal hobby website she uses to help people eat healthy to lower bad cholesterol levels.

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