Merck recalls top-selling cholesterol drug Liptruzet - KMSP-TV

Merck recalls top-selling cholesterol drug Liptruzet

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

By LINDA A. JOHNSON AP Business Writer

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.

According to a Merck spokeswoman, the Liptruzet packages were produced by a U.S. manufacturer under contract with Merck.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow Us!

  • HealthHealthMore>>

  • Losing the weight without cutting the butter

    Losing the weight without cutting the butter

    If you're trying to lose some weight, or lower your blood pressure, you may be trying to cut the fat out of your diet. Dietician Sylvia Melendez Klinger says some fat is good for you, even butter!
    If you're trying to lose some weight, or lower your blood pressure, you may be trying to cut the fat out of your diet. Dietician Sylvia Melendez Klinger says some fat is good for you, even butter!
  • Dr. Mona: Kids and codeine

    Dr. Mona: Kids and codeine

    Dr. Mona joined us on FOX 32 News at Noon to talk about what codeine is used for in children and why it may be dangerous.
    Dr. Mona joined us on FOX 32 News at Noon to talk about what codeine is used for in children and why it may be dangerous.
  • Drug samples may lead to more expensive prescriptions

    Drug samples may lead to more expensive prescriptions

    Have you ever received free samples of medication at your doctor's office? Dr. Mona Khanna talks about an eye-opening study about how doctors are influenced to prescribe expensive medication.
    Have you ever received free samples of medication at your doctor's office? Dr. Mona Khanna talks about an eye-opening study about how doctors are influenced to prescribe expensive medication.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices