Merck announced today that it is taking steps to suspend the availability of Tredaptive, a cholesterol drug that is less effective and has more potential side effects than previously expected. The drug, extended-release niacin/laropiprant, is not sold in the U.S.
After receiving a recommendation from a European medical regulatory agency, the pharmaceutical company is officially recommending physicians stop prescribing Tredaptive.
Merck Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Rosenblatt was quoted in a company press release as saying: "Patients currently taking Tredaptive are our priority, and we are committed to continue to work with regulatory agencies around the world to ensure that physicians have appropriate information as we take steps to suspend the availability of Tredaptive."
Although the drug is not approved for use in the U.S., it is currently approved in approximately 70 countries and sold in about 40 countries. At the time of the company's last quarterly report in November, Merck had planned to file applications for U.S. and EU approval in 2013. For the first three quarters of 2012, sales of the drug were approximately $13 million.
The article Merck Tells Doctors to Stop Prescribing Cholesterol Drug Tredaptive originally appeared on Fool.com.Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter, @TMFJLo, and on Motley Fool CAPS, @TMFJLo. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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