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Vyrotin

Is Cholesterol Drug Vytorin Linked to Cancer? Secret Clinical Trial Data Says Yes David Gutierrez

Friday, January 23, 2009 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: Vyrotin, health news, Natural News


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(NaturalNews) Two congresspeople have launched an investigation into why the results of clinical trial linking the cholesterol drug Vytorin to increased risk of death from cancer were kept secret.

On Aug. 21 of last year, the FDA announced that it was launching an investigation into the possibility that Vytorin might increase a patient's risk of contracting and dying from cancer. This came after the FDA was provided with the results of a study that found that patients taking Vytorin had a 40 percent higher risk of dying from cancer than those on a placebo. The study results were only shown to the FDA and had not been made public.

In response, Reps. John Dingell and Bart Stupak sent a letter to drug companies Merck and Schering-Plough asking for more information on the study, including whether the final report was complete, when it was prepared, why it was kept secret, whether its results had been tampered with and whether it had been truly independent.

Vytorin is a combination of Merck's Zocor-brand simvastatin and Schering-Plough's Zetia (generically known as ezetimibe).

The report in question was prepared by Richard Peto of Oxford University. Dingell and Stupak have asked Merck and Schering-Plough for 10 years of past documents on the study and for permission to interview Peto directly. The representatives have questioned whether Peto was truly functioning as an independent researcher, and have inquired whether he has conducted any other drug analyses in the past.

The connection to cancer is only the latest serious health concern to arise for Vytorin. In December 2007, the FDA warned that a combination of Zetia and any statin, including simvastatin, places patients at increased risk of serious liver damage. Only two months later, the results of a large clinical trial of Vytorin were released, concluding that the drug provided no health benefit over simvastatin alone and might even worsen the buildup of arterial plaque.

Sources for this story include: www.reuters.com.

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