, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 49-60
Date: 16 Dec 2012

Generic Atorvastatin, the Belgian Statin Market and the Cost-Effectiveness of Statin Therapy

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This study examines how the market entry of generic atorvastatin influences the Belgian statin market and the cost-effectiveness of statin therapy.


Using IMS Health data, the Belgian 2000–2011 statin market was analyzed in terms of total expenditure, annual price of statin treatment, and patient numbers. A simulation analysis projected statin market shares from 2012 to 2015 following market entry of generic atorvastatin. This analysis was based on three scenarios regarding the number of patients taking specific statins. Savings associated with an atorvastatin price reduction of 50–70 % were calculated. A literature review of economic evaluations assessed the cost-effectiveness of generic atorvastatin.


Statin expenditure increased from €113 million in 2000 to €285 million in 2011 due to higher expenditure on atorvastatin and rosuvastatin. Although the number of patients treated with simvastatin increased by nearly 800 %, the resulting increase in expenditure was partially offset by price reductions. Atorvastatin is projected to become the dominant product in the Belgian statin market (market share of 47–66 % by 2015). Annual savings would attain €108.6–€153.7 million for a 50 % reduction in the atorvastatin price and €152.0–€215.2 million for a 70 % price reduction. The literature suggests that generic atorvastatin is cost-effective as compared to simvastatin. The limited evidence about the cost-effectiveness of rosuvastatin as compared with generic atorvastatin is inconclusive.


Generic atorvastatin is cost-effective as compared to simvastatin, is projected to become the dominant product in the Belgian statin market and is expected to generate substantial savings to health care payers.