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Dow Up 54, Gains 9% for Week

Merck surges on proposed merger

(Newser) - Stocks made gains today, extending a winning streak into its fourth day, MarketWatch reports. Merck rose 12.5% on announcement of its merger with Schering-Plough, while General Motors built on recent gains with a 22.9% jump. The Dow closed up 53.92 at 7,223.98. The Nasdaq rose... More »

Merck to Buy Schering-Plough in Latest Pharma Merger

Drug giant's purchase comes weeks after Pfizer-Wyeth merger

(Newser) - Merck announced today that it will merge with fellow drugmaker Schering-Plough in a $41.1 billion cash-and-stock deal to enlarge its pipeline of new drugs in development, reports the Wall Street Journal. The two companies have already collaborated on cholesterol drug Zetia—whose sales plummeted after a study questioned its... More »

Scientists Still Question Popular Drugs Zetia, Vytorin

Much-prescribed cholesterol medicines may not reduce risk of heart disease, death

(Newser) - Some cholesterol medicines have shown no indication they actually work—but that hasn’t stopped doctors from heavily prescribing them, the New York Times reports. Short trials of Zetia and Vytorin, known generically as ezetimibe, showed no evidence they reduced risk of heart attack or cardiovascular disease, while tests raised... More »

Pharma, Tech Kill Early Gains

Pricier oil, Merck troubles outshine Bank of America's 'success'

(Newser) - The markets failed to hold on to early-session gains today as oil rose above $131 per barrel and the overall economic outlook remained downcast, MarketWatch reports. The Dow lost 29.23 points to close at 11,467.34, the Nasdaq fell 3.25 to 2,279.53, and the S&... More »

Congress to Probe 'Misleading' Drug Ads

Cholesterol, anemia drugs in spotlight

(Newser) - A congressional panel will examine three ad campaigns as part of a move to tighten regulations on drug companies' direct-to-consumer marketing, the Wall Street Journal reports. The committee will focus on ads for cholesterol drugs Vytorin and Lipitor, and anemia drug Procrit, which has been promoted as an anti-fatigue drug... More »

Doc: Merck Fudged Minutes of Meeting

Vytorin probe challeges firm's account of delay in trial results

(Newser) - Merck's "minutes" of a meeting of heart doctors discussing cholesterol drug Vytorin were created a month after the meeting and distorted the viewpoints of the experts, one panel member changes. The drug company submitted the document to congressional investigators probing its two-year delay in releasing a report saying the... More »

Firms Hid Bad News on Heart Drugs 2 Years: Doc

Merck and Schering-Plough delayed trial results on Vytorin, Zetia

(Newser) - A scientist hired by two drug companies to conduct trials of cholesterol-lowering drugs accused the firms of deliberately delaying release of the results, the New York Times reports. The results for the Vytorin and Zetia trials—which showed the drugs don't work to reduce plaque in arteries—were not released... More »

2 Top Cholesterol Drugs, Vytorin and Zetia, Don't Work

Cardiologists urge prescribing statins over Vytorin, Zetia

(Newser) - Two top-selling cholesterol drugs  proved in a recent study to be largely ineffective in slowing the clogging of arteries, a panel of cardiologists said yesterday. Doctors should only prescribe Vytorin and Zetia if other medications don't work, and should rely instead on statins such as Lipitor and Zocor, they said.... More »

Generic Beats Pricey Pill on Cholesterol

Pharma stocks fall after in-house study hails 3-cent drug

(Newser) - A cheap generic drug cuts arterial buildup as well as a pricey pill and may threaten the growth of two drug companies, Bloomberg reports. Vytorin is produced by Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp. and costs $2.84 per dose; simvastin, a generic, costs 3 cents a pill and works... More »

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