Whitesburg KY

Vytorin prescriptions fall


Prescriptions for embattled cholesterol drug Vytorin fell 9.5 percent after a study raised questions about its effectiveness, a market-research firm said.

Results of the so-called “Enhance” patient trial showed that Merck & Co.’s and Schering- Plough Corp.’s Vytorin was no better than generic simvastatin in slowing artery-clogging despite reducing bad cholesterol to a greater degree. Vytorin is a single-tablet combination of simvastatin and Zetia.

The study prompted some doctors to call for limiting the use of Vytorin and Zetia, at least until ongoing patient studies show whether it can reduce the risk for heart attacks and other cardiovascular results.

But Merck and Schering- Plough have stood behind Vytorin’s effectiveness in reducing bad cholesterol, and some medical societies have cautioned that people shouldn’t stop taking Vytorin or Zetia before talking to their doctors.

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