Countdown to Generic Lipitor: Atorvastatin By Any Other Name

What everyone knows as Lipitor has also had a chemical name: atorvastatin. And it’s atorvastatin that the generic version of Lipitor will be called, once the brand goes off patent Wednesday.

This is normal. Drug makers give a chemical name to medicines in development, before unveiling a brand name. Many doctors write out the chemical name of drugs on prescriptions, even if only the brand is available. Many folks in health care prefer using the tongue-twisting chemical name.

The switch from a branded cholesterol drug to a no-name is also standard now. Millions of patients have been taking lovastatin, pravastatin and simvastatin since Mevacor, Pravachol and Zocor went off patent…

Read the complete article @ WSJ Health Blog.

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