Comparison of Prescription Drug Costs in the United States and the United Kingdom, Part 1: Statins

Hershel Jick, M.D.; Andrew Wilson, M.P.H.; Peter Wiggins, M.B.; Douglas P. Chamberlin, B.A.


Pharmacotherapy. 2012;32(1):1-6. 

In This Article


After we had obtained and analyzed the results of this study, we again reviewed the medical literature and learned that simvastatin had been approved in the U.S. for generic formulation in late June 2006. Since the available information in-house for 2006 was identical to that in 2005, we derived cost estimates for simvastatin (and atorvastatin) for 2006. The estimated cost/pill for atorvastatin throughout 2006 was virtually identical to the cost in 2005 (Table 3). During the first 6 months of 2006, the estimated cost/pill for simvastatin was similar to that for 2005. By contrast, in the last 6 months (July–December) of 2006, more than 60% of simvastatin users switched from the nongeneric preparation to the generic. The resultant estimated cost/pill was reduced by more than 50%. It was nevertheless still some 4 times higher than that in the U.K.


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