Has the Vytorin prescription drop leveled off? The most recent data shows that scrips for the Merck/Schering-Plough cholesterol med only dropped 1.1 percent in May, month-over-month, to 2.5 million. By contrast, the decline was 11 percent from March to April and 23 percent since January. That's when the ill-fated Enhance trial data was released, showing the combo Vytorin--a mix of simvastatin and Zetia--was no better than simvastatin alone at slowing artery-hardening.
The numbers took a big initial hit--13 percent in February, month-over-month--but rebounded a bit in March until the American College of Cardiology meeting, where an expert panel recommended using Vytorin only after a host of other cholesterol meds proved ineffective. That led to the drop in April, and to an aggressive cost-cutting program at Schering-Plough, whose revenue depends heavily on Vytorin and Zetia.