Drug Maker Suspends Sale Of Cholesterol Drug

(January 11, 2013)—Drug maker Merck says it is suspending its sale of the cholesterol drug Tredaptive, telling doctors to quit prescribing the medicine, and advising patients to quit taking it only after talking to a physician.

The drug is not approved in the United States.

Tredaptive is available in about 70 countries, including Europe.

Merck said last month initial results from a big, late-stage study showed that adding Tredaptive to traditional statin therapy did not reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and related problems.

The drug maker said then that doctors should stop prescribing Tredaptive to new patients.

Results also showed that patients taking the cholesterol combination pill were more likely to suffer some serious, non-fatal adverse events.

Merck says it made its decision based in part on a European Medicine Agency committee recommendation.

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