Ranbaxy pulls ahead of Pfizer in Lipitor race

Pfizer ($PFE) has lost the lead in Lipitor market share. Ranbaxy Laboratories passed the branded drugmaker up last month, The Wall Street Journal reports, outselling Pfizer by about 300,000 pills.

For that week, Ranbaxy sold 17.5 million knockoff Lipitor tablets, Wolters Kluwer Pharma Solutions calculates. Pfizer came in second with about 17.2 million. Watson Laboratories, which sells an authorized generic, came in last with 10.8 million. That gives Ranbaxy roughly 39.1% of the market, with Pfizer at 38% and Watson at 23.7%.

It's a slim lead, and thanks to Watson's much lower numbers, it leaves Pfizer close to its goal of retaining 40% market share till Ranbaxy's exclusivity period expires. (That's when a host of Lipitor copies will stampede the market, and all bets for share and price are off.) But as the WSJ notes, it's a watershed moment. For the first time, Pfizer's not the biggest seller of its biggest blockbuster.

- read the WSJ Health Blog post

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