Over-the-Counter Lipitor: A Dangerous Idea

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, Cholesterol
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Worried about its $11 billion Lipitor business, Pfizer wants to sell Lipitor over-the-counter.Recently, Pfizer announced that it wants to change how it sells its cholesterol-lowering statin drug Lipitor. They want to introduce a version consumers can buy over-the-counter without a prescription.


The reason? Lipitor is losing its U.S. patent protection in November. So, rather than risk its $11 billion a year Lipitor business, it wants to put the health of millions of people at risk.

This is truly a disaster waiting to happen…

  • First off, taking statins without a physician’s care is dangerous. Statins can damage the liver, so you need to be monitored regularly by a doctor. Plus, statins can cause a whole host of health issues—including mental confusion, memory decline, muscle aches, fatigue, depression, and more. Without a physician’s oversight, these health issues would go unchecked.
  • Second, most people don’t understand when a statin is truly needed. Right now, statins are overprescribed by physicians. Making statins an over-the-counter drug would only compound the problem. The only people who should be on statins are men over 50 who have coronary artery disease. For everyone else, statins may actually be raising the incidence of heart failure because they deplete the body of CoQ10—a biochemical that’s critical to heart health.

In the past, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has squashed efforts by other statin-drug manufacturers to sell their drugs over-the-counter. The right thing for the FDA to do now is to tell Pfizer no!


Plus, I want to remind you again that if you’re on a statin drug you MUST take Coenzyme Q10 (Co10) because statins deplete the body of this important nutrient. At a minimum, you want to take 200 mg of highly-absorbable CoQ10 in divided doses with your statins.


Now it’s your turn: What are your thoughts on making Lipotor an over-the-counter drug?


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