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Medical News & Perspectives |

Cholesterol Drug Controversy Continues

Mike Mitka
JAMA. 2008;299(19):2266. doi:10.1001/jama.299.19.2266.
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Chicago—Controversy over the use of ezetimibe/simvastatin to prevent progression of atherosclerosis continues to grow.

At the American Academy of Cardiology's 57th Annual Scientific Session here in March, attendees packed the lecture hall to hear a detailed account of the ENHANCE (Effect of Ezetimibe Plus Simvastatin vs Simvastatin Alone on Atherosclerosis in the Carotid Artery) trial, 2 months after the company released the study's major findings to the media rather than to the scientific community. After the presentation, a panel assembled by the academy to put the findings in perspective declared that the aggressively marketed drug combination should be used only as a last resort in treating patients to decrease their levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).

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There is currently no evidence that ezetimibe, which reduces levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (above), improves clinical outcomes such as myocardial infarction or death.

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