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Doubtful Drug for Cholesterol

January 18, 2008
clipped from www.nytimes.com

In a press release, Merck and Schering said that not only did Zetia fail to slow the accumulation of fatty plaque in the arteries, it actually seemed to contribute to plaque formation — although by such a small amount that the finding could have been a result of chance.

Millions of patients may be taking a drug that does not benefit them, raising
their risk of heart attacks and exposing them to potential side effects, he
said. Patients should not be given prescriptions for Zetia unless all other
cholesterol drugs have failed, he said.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is investigating the delay, said in a statement Monday that the negative results added to suspicions that the companies had deliberately sat on their findings from the study, which was known as Enhance.

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