Merck Loses Zocor Patent, Cuts Price
“Friday was the day that Merck — and Pfizer — have long dreaded.
Last week, Merck’s cholesterol-lowering drug Zocor lost its United States patent protection, becoming the largest-selling drug yet to be opened to cheap generic competition.
That change will cost Merck billions of dollars a year. But it could be nearly as damaging to Pfizer, whose rival cholesterol drug, Lipitor, is the world’s most popular medicine, with global sales last year of $12 billion. Now insurers are hoping to convince patients and doctors that cheap clones of Zocor will make full-priced Lipitor an unnecessary luxury.
Alex Berenson. Merck Loses Protection for Patent on Zocor. The New York Times. June 23, 2006.
Related Stories & Documents:
- Lisa Rapaport and Angela Zimm. Merck Prices Zocor Below Generic. WashingtonPost.com. June 23, 2006.
- National Public Radio. Merck to Drop Price as Zocor Patent Lapses. June 23, 3006.
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