- French president accuses Syria’s Assad of gassing his own citizens
- Jimmy Carter’s grandson makes gains in governor’s race in Georgia
- Yemen: Airstrike targets al Qaeda training camps
- Easter worshippers shocked as car rams church, injuring 21
- NYT’s David Brooks: Obama has ‘manhood problem’ in Middle East
- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
Merck recalls all supply of combo cholesterol drug
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Drugmaker Merck & Co. said Tuesday that it’s recalling a combination cholesterol drug, wiping out the entire U.S. stock, due to packaging defects that could reduce effectiveness.
Merck said the recall covers all four dose strengths and every batch distributed since Liptruzet was launched last May.
Both active ingredients in the drug remain available separately, though.
Merck, the world’s third-biggest drugmaker, said some of the foil pouches holding the pills may allow air and moisture inside. The company said there’s a remote chance that could decrease the drug’s effectiveness or otherwise change its properties, but that the recall is not due to any reports of patients being harmed.
Liptruzet combines two popular drugs that work in complementary ways to reduce levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, a common strategy for preventing heart attacks and strokes.
Merck’s own Zetia, known chemically as ezetimibe, decreases the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food. The other ingredient, atorvastatin, lowers the body’s natural production of cholesterol.
Atorvastatin is the generic version of Lipitor, the cholesterol pill made by Pfizer Inc. that was the world’s top-selling drug for nearly a decade until it got generic competition two years ago.
Merck continues to sell Zetia, and several companies sell inexpensive atorvastatin. Liptruzet costs more than $5.50 per pill, about the same as Zetia, while atorvastatin costs about 25 cents a pill.
The company, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., said patients can continue taking any Liptruzet they have and should consult a doctor before stopping it. Merck plans to get Liptruzet back on the market as soon as possible.
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- In Colorado, a marijuana holiday tries to go mainstream
- CURL: Shelly O first lady Michelle Obama comes in last
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- EDITORIAL: More Lerner smoking-gun emails at IRS
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.