Competitor Permitted To Sell Lipitor Generic

Drugmaker Pfizer lost the patent on its blockbuster drug Lipitor on Wednesday. And on the same day, regulators granted an Indian company approval to sell a generic version of the cholesterol drug in the U.S. market.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with cheaper cholesterol drugs for many Americans.

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INSKEEP: The drug maker Pfizer has lost the patent on its drug Lipitor. The patent expired in the United States yesterday. And on the same day, regulators granted an Indian company approval to sell a cheaper, generic version of the cholesterol drug in the U.S. market.

Pfizer has sold about $100 billion worth of Lipitor since 1997. Revenues are now expected to plummet. And more generic rivals are expected to hit the market soon, meaning consumers will be paying a fraction of the previous cost for that medication.

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