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Controversial Cholesterol Drug Redeemed By Global Clinical Test
National Public Radio

The wheels of drug research grind slowly, but they can grind exceedingly fine.

Merck said Monday that its cholesterol drug Vytorin was vindicated by a nine-year-long clinical study that aimed to find out if adding a drug that blocked the absorption of cholesterol to a statin, long the gold standard for cholesterol care, would help patients at a high risk of heart attack and stroke.

Previous research had raised doubts about Vytorin’s effectiveness. In a bit of a surprise, the study, known by the acronym IMPROVE-IT, showed that the drug worked. Still, the effects were modest.

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