Letter tries to quell Vytorin worries

Merck and Schering-Plough have put together a "Dear Doctor" letter about the results of the SEAS trial that were released earlier this week. You know the one: It showed that Vytorin--the combo of Zocor and Zetia--didn't help patients with heart-valve disease any more than placebo did. The study did find that the drug was linked with an increased risk of dying from cancer; those numbers have been up for heated debate ever since, with some noted cancer experts saying the stats were an anomaly and others worried that the stats meant just what they said.

Well, the companies would like to put those cancer fears to rest, of course. Their letter to healthcare providers says that "taken in the light of all the available data," the link between Vytorin and cancer is unsupportable. "[W]e do not believe that changes in the clinical use of Vytorin are warranted," the letter states.

- read the story in Forbes
- see the debate in USA Today

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