When the American College of Cardiology sent out its annual meeting agenda, the controversial ENHANCE study wasn't listed as a highlighted presentation. Earlier, Merck and Schering-Plough had announced that the trial would be presented at the ACC confab. So what gives? Well, the basic results of the study were announced several weeks ago, and some speculated that the ensuing media storm might turn ACC off. Why devote precious time to ENHANCE when its publicity power had been weakened?
But it appears that ENHANCE may still get an airing at the meeting, at an alternate forum--perhaps one in which the central theme is quality, an ACC spokeswoman told Forbes. In this sort of venue, participants could discuss not just the study data, but broader issues such as how studies should be conducted and results disclosed. But other published reports have suggested that this sort of session might be too short for substantive discussion.
You'll recall that Merck and Schering-Plough have drawn fire for delaying the release of ENHANCE for almost two years after the trial wrapped. Congressional committees are investigating why the results were delayed, especially in light of the fact that the Vytorin pill--combining Zocor and Zetia--showed no more action against artery-hardening than Zocor did alone. Scrips for both Vytorin and Zetia are down 20 percent since the data were released.
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