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Byline: GLORIA LAU
When a leading pharmacy benefits manager takes the world's top-selling drug off its preferred list of medicines, it's pretty big news.
Such was the case last month, when Express Scripts said it would remove cholesterol-buster Lipitor from the list of preferred drugs it promotes to clients. To date, it's the only pharmacy benefits manager to do so.
Lipitor accounted for $11 billion of Pfizer's $53 billion in 2004 sales. Industry watchers are waiting to see if Pfizer will lash out financially and try to punish Express Scripts for its decision.
Express Scripts' reason for removing Lipitor is simple: Zocor, a rival statin made by Merck, will lose patent protection in the middle of next year. …