High cholesterol patients now have the ability to get a cholesterol-lowering drug for free.Meijer announced earlier this month that they would offer a generic version of Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) for free. It's available at every one of its 199 locations with a pharmacy.
The generic version of Lipitor became available when Pfizer Inc's patent for Lipitor expired in November 2011.
Lipitor remained a money-making monster for Pfizer to the very end of the patent, as it generated $7.7 billion in sales in 2011 making it the top-selling drug for the year. Pfizer was the overall top pharmaceutical company in 2011 for U.S. based sales.
While brand name Lipitor is still available, many are expecting Pfizer revenues to drop because of the availability of the much cheaper … sometimes free .. generic version.
Generic Lipitor For Free
Will atorvastatin calcium be free everywhere soon?
Not likely. Here's why…
Mega-stores like Meijer can use inexpensive products like this as a "loss leader".
This has been common practice for staples such as milk and bread for decades now. Meijer has been doing this with antibiotics for a while as well.
A "loss leader" is a product that's been marked down to the point of breaking even or even losing money on the sale. This is done to get more people in the door, knowing they will offset the loss with profits from other purchases.
Regular drugstore chains typically cannot afford to do this because the offer of a free drug wouldn't generate enough extra traffic or sales volume to offset the loss in revenue.
Also, the profits from drugs make up a much higher percentage of total profits for drugstores vs. larger retail stores like Meijer.
Something to keep an eye on…
The grocery chain Wegmans has now joined Meijer in the offering of free atorvastatin. It's possible that other larger grocery chains may follow suit in a race for extra foot traffic.
Some experts appear to be shouting from the rooftops at what a wonderful gift this is to society. How millions will now be saved because of the affordable access to these necessary drugs.
Others, like myself, are cringing at the idea of these drugs being dispensed like candy. (As if they weren't already being over prescribed.)
Remember, the list of Lipitor side effects is not just long, but serious as well. So just because it's free, doesn't mean your body can "afford" it.
Instead of using free, but risky drugs … why not take a look at free, and healthy tips that really work to get healthy cholesterol levels? Scroll down a bit and signup today for all-natural tips that work better than you might imagine.