Vytorin's heart benefits questioned

July 21, 2008 2:28:43 PM PDT
There are new concerns about the benefit of a popular cholesterol fighting drug, Vytorin. It failed to meet the main goal of improving cardiovascular outcomes in a closely watched heart study. It's the latest setback for cholesterol drugs marketed by Merck & Co. and the Schering-Plough Corporation.

Norwegian researchers presented their findings in London Monday. There was no significant difference in the decrease of major heart valve problems seen between the patients who received Vytorin and those who received a placebo.

The medication did help reduce the levels of bad cholesterol by 61 percent.

More than 1,800 patients were involved in the study.