Atorvastatin − the World’s Best Selling Drug

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M. Hájkováa, B. Kratochvíla, and S. Rádlb

a Department of Solid State Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague, b Zentiva Co., Prague


Atorvastatin is a member of the drug class known as statins, which are used to cure hypercholesterolemia. The statins inhibit HMG-CoA reductase, which catalyzes the rate-limiting step in hepatic cholesterol synthesis. Atorvastatin was launched by the Warner Lambert Co. under the trade name Lipitor in 1997. Since 2001, Lipitor has been the leading product in the global pharmaceutical sales reaching 13.6 billion USD in 2006. The review discusses various aspects of the drug. The main syntheses of atorvastatin, including the commercially used convergent synthesis, are shortly discussed. The review also covers polymorphism and some basic formulation data. The complex situation with the polymorphs and amorphous form is discussed in detail.


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