Generic or Name Brand: Do You Really Need a Statin Drug?

A few months ago I warned you about Merck's over-the-counter (OTC) statin drug under consideration by the FDA. Thank goodness it never happened here, although it did in the U.K. with Zocor.

If you're still taking a statin, it's probably Lipitor, the world's best selling drug. By next summer, many insurers and government agencies will be moving you from Lipitor made by Pfizer to a far less expensive generic version of Zocor, perhaps a fallback position on Merck's part for losing out on Mevacor (lovastatin).

Between now and then, Pfizer won't take that dent in their pockets out without a fight and plans to use all their marketing might to fight that migration. Pfizer argues Lipitor is unique among the class of statin drugs, especially for those at high risk for heart attacks.

I suspect Pfizer will have a hard time proving Lipitor is worth the higher price, based on a German study I posted last month that found it to be no better benefit-wise than other statins and that it may pose worse side effects for patients too.

Fact is, you don't need to be taking a statin drug -- a generic or patented toxic "Band-Aid" -- at all, if you make two basic lifestyle changes:

New York Times October 15, 2005 Registration Required

The (Lakeland, Fla.) Ledger October 15, 2005

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