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Congressional Committe Demands Info on Vytorin Cancer Study | 24-7-news.com cialis online

Congressional Committe Demands Info on Vytorin Cancer Study

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The head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has asked the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to turn over information on a study that linked Vytorin to cancer.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has been investigating Vytorin since January, when Merck and Schering-Plough finally released the long-delayed ENHANCE study. ENHANCE showed Vytorin were ineffective in preventing clogged arteries, and might actually increase plaque in some users. In spite of the findings, Merck and Schering-Plough delayed releasing ENHANCE for more than a year – something critics of the company have likened to fraud.

The new study that has caught the committee’s attention – known as SEAS  – was published just last month in London.. The study, which involved 1873 patients, investigated the effects of Vytorin in patients with aortic stenosis. Aortic stenosis involves partial blockage of the aortic valve in the heart. In addition to failing to show that Vytorin did much to help patients with aortic stenosis avoid other heart problems, a safety analysis of SEAS found that Vytorin patients in the study had higher rates of cancer and cancer deaths.

In the trial, 102 patients taking Vytorin developed cancer, compared with 67 taking the placebo. Of those, 39 people taking Vytorin died from their cancer, compared with 23 taking placebo. Researchers conducting the study said that while those numbers don’t prove a definitive cancer link, they were “statistically significant”, meaning the odds were less than 5 percent that they were the result of chance.

According to The Wall Street Journal, in a letter to the FDA, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich), Chairman of the committee, said that based on the study’s finding, “Vytorin may not be safe. Its potential for cancer and cancer deaths may be a significant cause for concern among physicians and patients.”

Dingell has asked the FDA to turn over an assessment of the SEAS study that was written by Dr. Richard Peto, an epidemiologist at Oxford University, and related records within two weeks. Dr. Peto’s analysis, which was funded by Merck and Schering-Plough, said SEAS’ cancer findings were largely due to chance and “implausible.”

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