Pfizer is supposedly hoping to sell its popular statin, Lipitor, over the counter in the USA but would first need the approval of the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. This speculation comes at a time when the company’s patent is about to run out and before generic versions emerge at the end of this year. It is said that making Lipitor an over the counter drug would help the company retain its profits after the patent expires.
Some physicians are happy about how much more accessible the drug will be to patients and others feel very strongly that this is a drug that should only be taken under medical supervision. Possible side effects include damage to the liver and muscle degeneration, so regular monitoring is imperative. The possibility of experiencing such side effects is small however.
People look forward to dodging the doctor’s fee, which in the States can be very expensive even if one is requesting a repeat prescription, but is it worth the risk? Statins are, in the main, prescription treatments here in Europe and should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor. A low dose version of simvastatin is available over the counter from a pharmacy in the UK but this was a very controversial move at the time.