Pfizer has received approval to sell the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor, its number-one seller, under five new categories. According to reports, Lipitor
is now recommended for use in patients at high risk for cardiovascular conditions because of prior MI, heart surgery, or chest pain with evidence of atherosclerosis and to reduce the risk of non-fatal heart attacks and strokes.
The expanded label for the world’s top-selling prescription drug will also now include its approval for use in reducing the risks of hospitalization for heart failure. Lipitor is the first cholesterol-lowering drug to win approval for reducing such risks.
The approval comes as a result of a five-year study, ‘”Treating to New Targets (TNT),” involving 10,000 patients with heart disease and elevated LDL levels which compared Lipitor at its lowest and highest doses. It was found that patients taking 80 mg of Lipitor had a significant 22% reduction in the risk of major cardiovascular events compared with patients taking 10 mg. It was also found that the patients on the higher dose of Lipitor had a significant 26% reduction in the risk of hospitalization for heart failure.
This should provide Pfizer an advantage in Lipitor’s competition with Zocor, Pravachol, Zetia, Vytorin and Crestor.9