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.

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Written by sesomedia

06/27/2006 at 08:47

Posted in Science & Medical

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