Companies Compete as Pfizer’s Generic Version of Lipitor Enters the Marketplace

Pfizer Inc.’s (NYSE:PFE) generic version of its cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor captured about 14.6% of U.S. prescription volume for drugs in the first few days after their introduction. Analysts are watching closely as Lipitor is the bestselling drug in the world.

According to J.P. Morgan, about 97.6% of the generic versions were from Watson (NYSE:WPI) in the first few days, with Ranbaxy holding the remainder. After 180 days, multiple manufacturers are expected to enter the market, further lowering the price of generic Lipitor. But, Pfizer is aggressively trying to hold onto branded Lipitor sales by offering discounts to consumers and health plans, at least for the next six months.

J.P. Morgan analyst Chris Schott said he still expects Watson’s (NYSE:WPI) version to capture about 60% of the generic-only market for Lipitor during the 180-day period of semi-exclusivity that Ranbaxy secured under U.S. law governing generic-drug launches. Watson is marketing a so-called authorized generic version of Lipitor, which is being supplied by Pfizer (NYSE:PFE). According to J.P. Morgan, of 938,800 prescriptions for drugs containing the active ingredient atorvastatin, about 801,600 were written for the branded Lipitor, or 85.4% of the combined market for branded and generic Lipitor.

“Watson’s generic Lipitor generated more than 134,000 prescriptions, while Ranbaxy’s had more than 3,200 prescriptions,” according to MarketWatch.

Here’s how these pharma stocks are trading now:

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE): PFE shares recently traded at $20.86, up $0.1, or 0.48%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $16.63 to $21.45. Volume today was 56,754,776 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 47,380,900 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 14.49, while trailing earnings are $1.44 per share. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE:WPI): WPI shares recently traded at $59.97, down $0.6, or 0.99%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $49.35 to $73.35. Volume today was 1,301,170 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 1,435,630 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 41.24, while trailing earnings are $1.45 per share. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

SPDR Select Sector Fund – Healt (NYSE:XLV): XLV shares recently traded at $33.34, up $0.02, or 0.06%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $9.15% to $. Volume today was 4.39B shares versus a 3-month average volume of 13 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is Health, while trailing earnings are $State Street Global Advisors per share. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>