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When a drug goes off patent, its market share is supposed to plummet. That’s not what happened with Zocor, Merck & Co., Inc.’s blockbuster cholesterol drug. By the end of the first month after Zocor’s patent expired in June, the company managed to hang on to about 50 percent of new prescriptions, according to data from Wolters Kluwer Health. Typically a brand-name company loses 70-90 percent of the market.

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