Lipitor marketing reaches the end of the road

Pfizer is giving up the ghost when it comes to promoting cholesterol drug Lipitor in the US. The patent on the drug expired November 30 of last year.

Pfizer is giving up the ghost when it comes to promoting cholesterol drug Lipitor in the US. The patent on the drug expired November 30 of last year.

Pfizer had touted the drug through its "Lipitor for You" program, which provided consumers with a co-pay card to get Lipitor for as low as $4 per monthly prescription. The rest of the cost was typically absorbed by an employer's insurance plan.

The pharma company reportedly spent about $87 million to promote the program through paid and earned media, as well as a high-profile partnership with restaurateur Joe Bastianich, a judge on Fox's Master Chef.

But with more generic versions coming to the market, Pfizer is pulling the plug on much of its formal promotion of Lipitor. Ketchum had assisted Pfizer with media strategy.

Also this week, the FDA said Gilead Sciences' Truvada appears to be safe and effective for HIV prevention. An FDA advisory panel will vote on the matter today. However, some critics say such a pill could promote unsafe sex by creating a false sense of security.

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