A halt in the marketing of Tredaptive, a cholesterol-lowering drug made by MSD,
was announced by the Health Ministry on Monday.
The company decided to
stop selling the dyslipidemia medication after a research project called
HPS-2-THRIVE showed the drug posed risks and the CE European drug certification
authority recommended that it no longer be used.
“did not show that taking the drug reduces the prevalence of significant heart
attacks and strokes; at the same time, it did show an increase in side effects
to the circulatory and lymph systems, the digestive system, infections,
metabolism, the skeletal and muscular systems, the respiratory system and the
skin among those taking the prescription medication,” the ministry
The ministry’s pharmaceutical division advised patients taking
the drug to consult with their doctors to consider an alternate therapy. The
ministry stressed, however, that patients should not stop taking Tredaptive
without being advised to do so by their physician.
MSD said on December
27 that doctors should not give the drug for the first time to patients and that
they should consider whether to continue prescribing it to patients as a result
of the research. The ministry said the decision “does not result from getting
new safety information beyond MSD’s announcement in December but is the result
of regulatory activity.”