U.K. saves £1 million a day, thanks to generic Lipitor

How much is a generic drug worth to a payer? More than £350 million, for the U.K.'s National Health Service, anyway. That's how much it saved during the first 12 months after Pfizer's ($PFE) Lipitor went off patent, the generic industry's trade association says.

The NHS spent more than £400 million a year on branded Lipitor before generic statins hit the market, PharmaTimes reports. That dropped to £300 million in 2012, when the first cheap generics appeared. Lipitor's market exclusivity expired in the U.K. last May. In the U.S., exclusivity ran out at the end of November 2011.

To put the savings another way, PharmaTimes points out that the NHS is now spending about £1 million less per day on Lipitor, a.k.a. atorvastatin.

The brand-specific news follows the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics report last week, which showed that U.S. drug spending declined in 2012 with the help of new generic versions of blockbuster brands like Lipitor.

Pfizer's Lipitor sales dropped 59% last year as copycats made their debut in multiple markets, and Ranbaxy Laboratories' 180-day exclusivity on generics expired, unleashing a flood of cheaper copies. Still, the drug brought in $3.95 billion last year.

- read the PharmaTimes piece

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