Harvard Heart Letter

Ask the doctor: Are Lipitor and Crestor equally good for me?

Ask the doctor

Are Lipitor and Crestor equally good for me?

Q. I have been taking Crestor (10 mg) for several years. Now my insurance company tells me it is dropping Crestor from its preferred drug list and suggests I replace it with Lipitor. Will this be okay?

A. Both Crestor (rosuvastatin) and Lipitor (atorvastatin) are brand-name statins; neither is yet available as a generic. There are generic statins available such as simvastatin, pravastatin, and lovastatin; these are generally cheaper than the brand-name statins.

Different health care providers or insurance companies make different deals with pharmaceutical companies. Yours may get Lipitor at a lower cost than Crestor, which is probably why it prefers that you take Lipitor. Lipitor has also been through more testing than Crestor, which might be another reason.

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