Lawmakers demand study data on Vytorin cancer risk

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- A congressional committee is giving the two makers of the cholesterol drug Vytorin two weeks to produce extensive data on a clinical study indicating the drug might increase the risk of cancer.

The FDA says it expects a final report in about three months, and would need another six months to fully evaluate the information. It also says patients should not stop taking Vytorin or other cholesterol drugs in the meantime.

But two Democratic congressmen are demanding information on all financial and other ties between Merck and Schering-Plough and British scientists who are running another study of the controversial drug.

The companies, which have a lucrative joint venture selling cholesterol drugs, say they've received the congressmen's letter and "are cooperating fully with the committee."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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