Lipitor, the brand name for generic atorvastatin, has been a major money maker for Pfizer by lowering bad cholesterol and more importantly, decreasing risk of heart attacks & death. Most recently, Lipitor was shown to be as effective as Crestor at reducing plaque buildup. The icing on the cake is that it is finally available as a generic, meaning that the price for lowering one's cholesterol will drop.
However, due to the arcane patent laws, the price of generic atorvastatin won't drop as quickly as we'd like as deals have been cut so that one manufacturer, Ranbaxy, has the generic market all to itself for the first 6 months before other manufacturers can step in & compete with their generic versions. What's more, Pfizer apparently will get a large percentage of revenue from Watson's sales of atorvastatin. Plus, Pfizer apparently plans to sell its own version of "generic" atorvastatin. What a strange world in which we live.
Just remember that if you need a statin, you can now have your cake & eat it, too (although this might not be a great choice). In other words, you can get one of the most powerful statins with a huge database of clinical outcome data for a generic price. In this miserable economy, the timing couldn't be better. But don't forget that you can always out eat any medication so you can't use your atorvastatin as an excuse to eat poorly.