In the February issue of the Harvard Health Letter, Editor in Chief Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff answers a question that's on a lot of people's minds these days: is atorvastatin, the generic version of the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor, as good as the brand-name drug?
Generic atorvastatin became available for the first time in November 2011 after Lipitor lost its patent protection.
In his answer, Dr. Komaroff notes that the FDA is legally required to determine that generics are "bioequivalent" to brand-name drugs, which means they produce similar blood concentrations of the same chemicals.
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