Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Timeline: How Vytorin Fell Short

The fallout from Vytorin is national news. A recent study prompted The American College of Cardiology to weigh in after a study by Merck & Co. Inc. and Schering-Plough Corp. The study showed that Vytorin worked no better than the generic cholesterol drug simvastatin.

A well written article on the Street.com lays out a timeline and goes into more detail. Excerpts:

In 2000, Schering-Plough teamed up with Merck in an effort to develop a next-generation cholesterol drug that could lower the risk of heart attacks.

In 2002, Merck and Schering-Plough had won approval for Zetia and introduced the first new cholesterol drug to hit the market in more than a decades. The more common course of through statins, slow the liver's production of cholesterol to cut the risk of heart attacks. Zetia works differently, slowing the body's absorption of cholesterol.

In 2004, Schering-Plough and Merck combined Zetia with Zocor (which was about to go off patent) and created Vytorin.

Two trials followed - ENHANCE and IMPROVE-IT.

Read the rest here.