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Merck Expresses Confidence In Safety And Efficacy Profiles Of Cholesterol Drugs Zetia And Vytorin - Quick Facts

Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) said that it is confident in the safety and efficacy profiles of Zetia and Vytorin for managing elevated cholesterol.

According to a 200-patient imaging study called ARBITER 6, Abbott Laboratories' (ABT) Niaspan appeared to be more effective and safer than Merck's Zetia as a secondary cholesterol treatment.

In response these results, Merck said, "The results of the small ARBITER 6 study do not, in any way, change our view of ZETIA and VYTORIN as effective medicines for fighting high LDL cholesterol."

Merck said that the results of ARBITER 6 were widely predicted because the study design favored niacin as the patient population selected had well-controlled LDL cholesterol and relatively low HDL cholesterol.

Also, it is important to remember that ARBITER 6 is not an outcomes study, and does not have the rigor or size to provide meaningful insight into the effect of either niacin or ezetimibe on clinical outcomes, the company added.

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