Merck & Co said it is recalling Tredaptive, its medicine to raise "good" HDL cholesterol levels, in overseas markets where it is sold, after it failed to prevent heart problems in a large study and raised safety concerns.
The medicine is not approved in the United States but the U.S. drugmaker sells it in about 40 countries.
Merck said it would recall stocks of Tredaptive now held by wholesalers, but that pharmacies can continue to dispense their remaining supplies. Even so, the company said it plans to discourage doctors from prescribing the pill based on negative findings from the trial which were announced last month. The study followed more than 25,000 patients in Europe and China for almost four years.