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Best-Selling Cholesterol Drugs Found Ineffective

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Three million people worldwide are taking the new, heavily advertised anti-cholesterol drugs Zetia and Vytorin, despite a lack of clinical evidence that they reduce cardiovascular disease or heart attacks, or help patients live longer. Vytorin and Zetia brought in $5.2 billion last year for Merck and Schering-Plough, placing them among the best-selling drugs in the world. The Food and Drug Administration approves many drugs based on whether they perform a specific action, like lowering cholesterol, without requiring long-term trials on whether they extend life or lower disease risks. Other FDA-approved drugs have been found to be ineffective or even dangerous.

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