Posted at: 01/11/2013 9:13 AM
By: Associated Press
Drugmaker Merck says it is suspending its sale of the cholesterol drug Tredaptive.
Merck told doctors to quit prescribing the medicine and advised 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 lower the risk of heart attack, stroke and related problems. The drugmaker 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.