Pfizer Continues Battle Against Simvastatin
Patients taking Pfizer’s market-leading statin Lipitor who have experienced a previous cardiovascular (CV) event are 22 percent less likely to discontinue therapy when compared with patients prescribed simvastatin, according to a study of managed-care databases.
“Statin non-adherence and discontinuation of therapy is associated with increased CV events and substantial downstream economic consequences,” Harvard Medical School associate professor JoAnne Foodyan and co-authors write. “Overall, persistence was greater and rates of discontinuation were lower for atorvastatin [Lipitor] patients compared with simvastatin patients.”
Patient compliance with statin therapy is known to be poor despite the medication’s clinical benefits, Foodyan writes.
The study, published in the July issue of Current Medical Research and Opinion, mined medical and pharmacy claims made between January 2002 and September 2005.
Pfizer previously touted results from a study of healthcare claims data that showed patients on Lipitor had fewer CV events than those who switched to simvastatin. Lipitor has been losing market share to generic simvastatin since Merck’s Zocor (simvastatin) went generic a few years ago.
The claims data include information from 6,888 patients on Lipitor and 4,443 patients on Zocor who had a prior CV event.
The study also analyzed claims data from 129,764 Lipitor patients and 45,558 simvastatin patients who did not have prior CV events. Those patients also were more likely to continue therapy with Lipitor, the study finds.<