Pfizer has announced that it is stopping marketing its Lipitor product. The cholesterol-lowering drug is the biggest selling drug in the world. But Pfizer is suffering after Lipitor’s patent expired a few months ago. It is now really feeling the effects of generic competition. Lipitor once accounted for a quarter of Pfizer’s revenue but it has now turned its back on the drug altogether.
Paul Gershlick, a Partner and Head of Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences at Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP, comments: “These are the dramatic effects being felt in just one drug falling out of patent during the so-called patent cliff. The patent cliff is the period between 2011 and 2016 when many of big pharma’s blockbuster drugs fall out of patent without sufficient replacements in the pipeline to make up the revenue shortfall. This period is going to re-shape the whole pharmaceutical industry. It is a time of threat to big pharma companies but also a time of opportunity for new business models.”