Vytorin is a combination of Zetia and Zocor. It is prescribed nearly 100,000 times a day, and sales topped $5 billion last year. Drug companies Merck and Schering split the profits from the medicines in equal parts.
This week Merck and Schering-Plough revealed that the active ingredient in their cholesterol drugs Zetia and Vytorin had flunked a clinical trial measuring its effect on artery plaque. The news was - as you can imagine - not taken very well.
"This drug doesn't work. Period. It just doesn't work." That is what Steven Nissen, the head of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic said. Congressman Bart Stupak said, "It is easy to conclude that Merck and Schering-Plough iintentionally sought to delay the release of this data.