The number of prescriptions for cholesterol-lowering statin drugs in the United States increased by an average of 500 000 a month between October 2005 and December 2006, and this surge was driven by new generic statins, says a report released Tuesday by Consumers Union and Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs.
From October 2005 to May 2006, there were an average of 12.6 million statin prescriptions per month, compared to an average of 13.1 million per month from June 2006 to December 2006.
Two new generic statin drugs were introduced to the US market in the latter half of 2006 and the increase in statin prescriptions suggests that these new generic statins have been eagerly embraced by consumers, doctors, insurers, pharmacists and pharmacy benefit managers, the report said.
The two generics, pravastatin and simvastatin, are versions of Pravachol and Zocor, respectively. Both those brand-name drugs lost patent protection in 2006.
"This is further evidence that the market will eagerly welcome a significant new generic drug, such as simvastatin," Steven Findlay, managing editor of Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs, said in a prepared statement. "It also shows that new generics can play an important role in extending treatment to more people."
The report also said there was a large increase in prescriptions of an older generic statin called lovastatin. – (HealthDayNews)
Statins can do harm