Recent Study Questions Vytorin, Zeta Effectivenes to Lower Cholesterol. The New England Journal of Medicine published a recent study that found the pharmaceutical blockbuster Vytorin was not effective at lowering cholesterol as Niacin, a common B vitamin available by prescription. Vytorin, a combination of Zetia and Zocor, are Merck & Co.’s second most profitable drug on the market, pulling in $21 billion in sales since 2003, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to the article, the active ingredient in Vytorin and Zetia, ezetimibe, and been shown to be less effective at unclogging coronary arteries than that of Niacin, a cheap B vitamin. Additionally, Vytorin and Zetia competitors have been shown to prevent heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases at a less expensive price tag, whereas Zetia and Vytorin have not been proven to do either, according to the study. Lipitor, Zocor and other statin-type pharmaceuticals block cholesterol production in the liver, whereas Zetia blocks cholesterol absorption in the intestines. The difference between how the drugs reduce cholesterol has helped Zetia’s popularity, despite the fact its effectiveness has been questioned. Many patients have been prescribed Vytorin as an alternative to the unconfortable side effects of Niacin and other statins’ including liver problems.
This is the third study in the last two years that has cast doubt on the effectiveness of the pharmaceutical giant. Additionally, in August 2009, Merck and Schering-Plough agreed to pay $41.5 million to settle class-action lawsuits accusing the companies of withholding unfavorable information about the drugs. Due to their recent merge in Nov. 2009, both companies are responsible for the lawsuit. Vytorin has been linked to potentially harmful side effects, including a high rate of cancer deaths, according to a controversial study released in 2008.
These studies also question whether the Food and Drug Administration prematurely approved the drugs without requiring additional studies that illustrate the drugs’ effectiveness or ability to prevent heart attacks. Merck waited three years before starting a research study to examine the effect on heart attack rates among Zetia and Vytorin patients.
Additional studies will be conducted to further examine the effectiveness of the drugs, including heart attack prevention; however results are not expected to be available until at least 2012. Leading cardiologists have advised patients to use cholesterol drugs like Zetia and Vytorin only if his or her cholesterol levels have not improved with the use of other medications and life-style changes. Costly cardiovascular problems lead some patients to pursue a Vytorin lawsuit to recover the cost of medical treatments.
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Contains a parody advertisement making fun of Merck’s apparent scientific fraud with its cholesterol drug Vytorin.
Help answer the question about vytorin
I have heard a rumor that Vytorin and Zetia may be more detrimental to carotid arteries. Is this true?
A relative called to tell me that they heard a news clip on Monday, stating that Vytorin and/or Zetia might be the newfound cause of clogging carotid arteries. I cannot find any information about this new finding on the web. Can you supply links, so that I can review and discuss with my Doctor?
LegalView.info has information about finding a Vytorin lawyer for those interested in pursuing a Vytorin lawsuit. Learn more at http://www.LegalView.info.
Tags: cholesterol, Medicine, statin, Vytorin, Zetia