Senators Question Pfizer Lipitor Deals, Ranbaxy Gets FDA Approval for Generic Version

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

Three U.S. senators are raising questions with Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) over its deal making for its megablockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor as generic drug makers step up to market the drug, most recently Ranbaxy Laboratories, an India-based generic drug developer.

Max Baucus (D-Montana), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin) are concerned that Pfizer's deals with pharmacy benefit managers will undermine the sale of generic versions of Lipitor. Their letters request that the company, benefit managers and insurance companies provide copies of the Lipitor agreements, documents and communications pertaining to the agreements and presentations describing the agreements no later than Dec. 21, according to Seeking Alpha.

Baucus said it wanted to protect taxpayer dollars and access to medicines.

Among Pfizer's efforts are offering patients $4 co-pay cards for Lipitor at a local participating pharmacy or direct delivery of their prescription, an effort it is promoting through physician practices, advertising and through the website,

Lipitor had sales of more than $10 billion last year.

Last month, the company told reporters in New York that one-third of people taking Lipitor want to continue taking the branded drug, so it was working with drugstores and mail-order providers to provide discounts on Lipitor. Medco Health Solutions, for example, a pharmacy benefit manager, is supplying Lipitor for 180 days through its direct mail service, according to The Wall Street Journal. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where laws instruct pharmacies to use cheaper generic drugs when available, physicians will have to specify that their patients get Lipitor if they are to receive the branded drug.

Ranbaxy gained approval to make atorvastatin calcium tablets in doses running from 10 milligrams to 80 milligrams. The drug will be manufactured by Ohm Laboratories in New Brunswick, New Jersey, according to a statement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Additionally, Ranbaxy has an agreement with Teva Pharmaceuticals' U.S. arm for a portion of the profits from sales of atorvastatin during Ranbaxy's 180-day, first-to-file exclusivity period, but the terms were not disclosed.

Watson Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: WPI  ) , the Parsippany, New Jersey manufacturer, secured the authorized generic version of Lipitor. In a supply and distribution agreement with Pfizer, the New York pharmaceutical company manufactures and supplies Watson with all dosage strengths of the authorized generic product.

Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Pfizer. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1736739, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/26/2016 3:22:09 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,204.09 34.82 0.19%
S&P 500 2,138.59 -4.57 -0.21%
NASD 5,250.79 -32.61 -0.62%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/26/2016 3:06 PM
PFE $32.38 Up +0.10 +0.31%
Pfizer CAPS Rating: ****
AGN $222.46 Down -2.83 -1.26%
Allergan CAPS Rating: ****