Drug: Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium)
Summary: Mega-blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor won't face competition until 2011, even though one of the patents expires next month. The blockbuster has been seeing a sales decline, as Pfizer raked in almost $11.4 billion in Lipitor sales last year--a good deal lower than 2008's $12.4 billion. Pfizer has already concluded a deal with Ranbaxy in which the Indian generics company can start selling its version in November 2011 (as first-filer, Ranbaxy has a six-month period of market exclusivity). And the Arrow Group, which was bought by Watson Pharmaceuticals last year, has the rights to sell the authorized generic version in the U.S.
This hasn't stopped other companies from trying to grab a slice of Lipitor. Dr. Reddy's Laboratories and Kremers Urban Development Company (KudCo) recently filed ANDAs to make copycat versions of the drug, claiming other patents that expire between 2013 and 2017 are invalid. But both face an uphill battle, as they would have to overcome the later-expiring patents, even to launch after Ranbaxy's exclusivity period expires.