Atorvastatin (INN) /əˌtɔrvəˈstætən/, marketed by Pfizer as a calcium salt under the trade name Lipitor, is a member of the drug class known as statins, used for lowering blood cholesterol. It also stabilizes plaque and prevents strokes through anti-inflammatory and other mechanisms. Like all statins, atorvastatin works by inhibitingHMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme found in liver tissue that plays a key role in production of cholesterol in the body.
Atorvastatin was first synthesized in 1985 by Bruce Roth of Parke-Davis Warner-Lambert Company (since acquired by Pfizer). The best selling drug in pharmaceutical history, sales of Lipitor since it was approved in 1996 exceed US$125 billion, and the drug has topped the list of best-selling branded pharmaceuticals in the world for nearly a decade. When Pfizer’s patent on…
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