Inside these posts: Cholesterol drug

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Abbott, AstraZeneca end Certriad development pact

Abbott Laboratories and British drug giant AstraZeneca have decided to stop developing the drug Certriad, a pill that combines drugs already on the market.

Such combination pills are developed as a convenience to consumers by having several different drugs in one pill, but criticized by consumer groups, health plans and employers as a way for the drug makers to extend patents and continue charging high prices. Critics say the ingredients generally used in the pills have cheaper generic copies or similar less expensive rivals already on the market.

The Certiad product included a combination of a statin and a fenofibrate. There are already generic statins and fenofibrates on the market. Get the full story »

Pfizer recalls more Lipitor bottles over odor

Pfizer is recalling a lot of 19,000 bottles of the blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor, citing a consumer complaint about an “uncharacteristic” odor.

The latest announcement marks the fourth such recall since August over similar issues. Pfizer says the bottles were supplied by an outside manufacturer, though it did not identify the party. It also says health consequences appear to be minimal. Get the full story »

Merck ‘good cholesterol’ drug study wows doctors

Dr. Christopher Cannon, the leader of a study on an experimental Merck cholesterol drug, at the Chicago AHA conference. (AP Photo/AHA)

Merck’s highly potent drug to raise heart-protective HDL cholesterol may give doctors a new sledgehammer against heart attacks and strokes, and be prescribed as often as the leading current statin treatments for heart disease, doctors said on Wednesday.

Thousands of doctors listened raptly earlier at midday as researchers presented findings from a highly anticipated study of Merck’s drug, anacetrapib, at the annual scientific meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago.

They were told that levels of HDL in patients taking the pill jumped 138 percent during the 18-month study, while levels of artery-clogging “bad” LDL cholesterol fell 40 percent. Get the full story »

Pfizer recalls musty-smelling Lipitor

Pfizer Inc. said it recalled 191,000 bottles of its top-selling Lipitor cholesterol fighter after reports of a musty odor coming from some bottles of the medicine made by a third-party supplier.

The world’s largest drugmaker said the recall, which took place in mid-August, involved seven lots of 40-milligram Lipitor, as well as three other lots of the medicine supplied to a Canadian generic drugmaker. Five of the seven recalled lots of the branded medicine were in the U.S., with two from Canada, Pfizer said. Get the full story »