Four words we never wanted to see: Chewable Lipitor for children

Chewable. Lipitor. For children.

I wish I were kidding. But I’m afraid it’s all too true.

Recently, the European Commission approved a chewable form of Lipitor for children over the age of 10.

Now, do you suppose Pfizer developed Lipitor for kids out of a deep concern for children with high cholesterol? No. European Union regulations grant an extra six months of patent protection to drug companies that develop treatments for children.

See, next year the patent runs out on Lipitor–the world’s best selling prescription drug. That will mean billions of dollars of lost revenue for Pfizer. So the big brains at Pfizer came up with chewable Lipitor for children.

And the European Commission responded with a big thumbs up!

No word yet on the color of the pills, flavors, or what shapes they’ll come in. But here are a few suggestions…

They could be liver-shaped to remind parents that children will need regular blood tests to check their liver function.

Or shaped like a flexing bicep to remind parents that Lipitor may cause muscle pain, a symptom of muscle damage.

Or they could be shaped like a little brain to remind parents that statin drug use has been linked with cognitive problems.

But most likely they’ll be in the shape of little Euros to remind Pfizer executives of how clever they were in coming up with a way to squeeze as much cash as possible out of their fading European Lipitor market.

“EU body OKs chewable Lipitor for older children” San Francisco Chronicle, 7/7/10,

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