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Cholesterol-lowering drug taken off market
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH
01/14/2013
A halt in the marketing of Tredaptive, a cholesterol-lowering drug made by MSD, is announced by the Health Ministry.
 
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.

Preliminary findings “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 stated.

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.”
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