Vytorin: Is it worth the risks?
Vytorin and Zetia are drugs prescribed to lower cholesterol levels. These drugs are commonly prescribed to patients who are unable to control their cholesterol levels through diet and exercise.
Vytorin is combination of Zetia and Zocor (a “Statin”). Statins, like Lipitor or Crestor, carry the risk of possible side effects, such as liver and muscle damage. Recent studies have found that Zetia and Vytorin can increase your risk of liver damage and/or disease.
A New York Times report dated Dec. 21, 2007, says the drugs’ manufacturers, Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp., conducted several studies on Zetia that raise questions about its risk to the liver, but the companies have never published those results.
For people taking Vytorin, liver problems that may develop include Hepatitis, Cirrhosis and even liver failure.
New study questions benefits
Then, on Feb. 12, 2008, the Associated Press reported that a Vytorin study, called ENHANCE, was completed in April 2006, but the companies didn’t release partial results until Jan. 14, 2008, and then only after a congressional inquiry into the delay.
The ENHANCE study questions the efficacy of Vytorin, as it showed no significant benefit in slowing atherosclerosis (plaque buildup) when compared to using other, much less expensive, generic statin drugs alone. In fact, while the results were not statistically significant, patients on Vytorin had more plaque growth than patients taking only simvastatin.
By withholding information regarding the drug’s effectiveness, the manufacturer caused millions of Americans to purchase the more expensive Vytorin over other less expensive cholesterol medicines. Generic statins are generally much less expensive than Vytorin, costing an average of 1/3 the cost of Vytorin.
The drugs’ manufacturers have a joint venture that markets Vytorin and Zetia, which together brought in $5.1 billion in sales in 2007, up from $3.8 billion in 2006.
Free legal consultation
If you or a loved one has taken Vytorin or Zetia and suffered serious liver injury you may have a claim against the manufacturer.
Please contact us today by filling out the brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number (1-800-898-2034) for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.