Survey: Lipitor, Plavix yield best heart-patient outcomes

The results of a survey of cardiologists could provoke tears from executives at Pfizer ($PFE), Sanofi ($SNY) and Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY). Tears of happiness, maybe--Pfizer's Lipitor and the Sanofi/BMS bloodthinner Plavix were deemed the two drugs that deliver the best outcomes for cardiology patients. However, both drugs go off patent within the next year.

The survey, performed by the physician-networking website Sermo, tagged Coreg as the third-best, outcomes-wise; the GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) beta blocker already faces generic competition. But some newer meds also made the list, including AstraZeneca's ($AZN) statin drug Crestor, which came in 4th. Boehringer Ingelheim's atrial fibrillation med Pradaxa rounded out the top 5.

Not surprisingly, the makers of these favorite drugs also tended to draw the cardiologists' admiration for their contributions to heart treatment. Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sanofi were among the companies that have worked hardest to advance cardiology over the past 20 years. So were Merck (whose Zocor came in 6th on the best-outcome list), Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ).

- see the Sermo survey results