In the latest pharmaceutical news, (New York Times, January 15) drug giants Merck and Schering-Plough, which make the drug, Zetia, and a pill that contains it, Vytorin, said Monday morning that Zetia had failed to benefit patients in a two-year trial that ended in April 2006.
Merck and Schering said that not only did Zetia fail to slow the accumulation of fatty plaque in the arteries it actually seemed to contribute to plaque formation. Dr. Steven E. Nissen, the chairman of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic, said the results were “shocking.” Can’t you image what the folks back at Merck and Schering were saying?!
Further, the trial was meant to prove that Vytorin’s combination of Zetia and Zocor would reduce the growth of fatty plaque in the arteries more than Zocor alone. Instead, the plaque actually grew almost twice as fast in patients taking the combination.
Maybe they should have just said “Oops!” Don’t you just hate it when reality comes knocking on the door…