Widely used cholesterol-lowering statin drugs like Lipitor (atorvastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin), Zocor (simvastatin), Simcor (simvastatin/niacin extended-release), Vytorin (simvastatin/ezetimibe) and many others will now have additional warnings on their packaging, according to an announcement from the Food & Drug Administration.
Get it while you can, big drug companies! Pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer Inc, AstraZeneca and Bristol Meyers Squibb are feeling a little panicky as the deadlines loom on patents for some of their best-selling drugs, so what do they do? Up the prices now, before those pesky generic versions arrive to drive consumer costs down.
Pfizer is recalling 38,000 more bottles of Lipitor because the bottles smell musty.
Though Pfizer apparently initiated a recall of its popular cholesterol fighting drug Lipitor (aka Atorvastatin) in August, it only came to the public attention this week. Regardless, a total of 191,000 90-pill bottles of the drug have been recalled from pharmacies in the U.S. and Canada.
Well, it seems that Pfizer is ready to move on from that embarrassing “Dr. Jarvik is not actually licensed to practice medicine” kerfuffle back in February. The company pulled its Lipitor spots after Congress became very interested in whether or not the ads were misleading the public into believing that Dr. Jarvik was qualified to offer medical advice — and that he was really rowing that boat. Now, theWall Street Journal has a tantalizing preview of the new “Dr. Jarvik Free” Lipitor ad. The spot features a regular person named John — a heart attack survivor who urges you to learn from his example and be more proactive about controlling your cholesterol (with Lipitor, damn it! Lipitor!).
Weary of all the “fake rowing” controversy, Pfizer has canned Dr. Robert Jarvik (the inventor of the Jarvik artificial heart) as a spokesperson for their blockbuster cholesterol drug, Lipitor.
Congress has been asking some tough questions while wearing their serious faces about why Dr. Robert Jarvik (inventor of the Jarvik artificial heart) is shilling Lipitor when he’s not actually licensed to practice medicine.
Dr. Robert Jarvik is the inventor of the Jarvik artificial heart, right? You know that because he’s the pitch-man for Lipitor, a heavily advertised cholesterol drug. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why inventing an artificial heart qualifies the man to pitch a drug?
A new study from the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine suggests that simvastatin, also known as the cholesterol-lowering drug Zocor, may interfere with sleep patterns: “people who took the statin drug Zocor or simvastatin found they had significantly worse sleep quality compared with people who took Pravachol or pravastatin, another cholesterol-lowering drug.” Simvastatin is fat soluble, which means it can more easily penetrate cell membranes and mess with brain chemistry.
Pfizer is in panic mode about its rapid decline in Lipitor sales—in the last 18 months, it has dropped from 40% of the market for cholesterol-lowering drugs to 30%, and likely to drop further—so it’s launched a big media-blitz to convince people not to switch to simvastatin, the generic version of its name-brand competitor, Zocor. Zocor was more expensive than Lipitor, so Pfizer had nothing to worry about for years—but then Zocor lost its patent protection last year, and now doctors are switching patients from Lipitor over to Zocor’s generic twin to save money.