The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that Merck's cholesterol drug Vytorin helps reduce
heart attack, stroke and related problems in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Vytorin is a
ezetimibe and simvastatin. Vytorin which had come under scrutiny in 2008 for potential cancer risks has no
new safety concerns.
Vytorin lowered heart related problems in kidney patients upto 16% as compared to placebo.
These results were variable on whether the patients were on dialysis.
Patients who received dialysis showed 6% reduction in heart problems as compared to 22% reduction
for patients not on dialysis.
The FDA will ask members of the Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee to comment on the disparity and to vote
on the overall safety and efficacy of Vytorin for kidney disease patients on Wednesday.