Lipitor Patent Expiration
Lipitor® (atorvastatin calcium) is currently protected by a patent that prevents any generic Lipitor from being manufactured. However, if you search the Internet for "generic Lipitor" or "generic atorvastatin" (which is the generic name for Lipitor), you may find a number of companies selling it. The fact is that these medicines may be fake, substandard, and potentially dangerous. You should not buy any generic form of Lipitor until there is an approved generic version available.
The first patent for Lipitor expired in March 2010. However, a generic version is not expected until November 2011. Pfizer and Ranbaxy (a generic manufacturer) have entered into a settlement agreement that will not allow Ranbaxy to make generic Lipitor until November 2011.
Because Ranbaxy was the "first to file" and challenge a Lipitor patent, it is likely that no other generic manufacturers will be allowed to make a generic version until 180 days after Ranbaxy first starts selling its version.
Although there are no generic versions of Lipitor available, there are generic medications for other statin medications, including simvastatin, lovastatin, and pravastatin. To see if a generic statin would work better for your situation, talk to your healthcare provider.
(Click Generic Lipitor for a more in-depth look at information on Lipitor patent expiration dates, warnings about buying any "fake" generic Lipitor products, and other generic versions of medications in the same class of drugs as Lipitor.)