Category Archives: Buffalo News Editorial: Vytorin SEAS Cancer “LINK” Sept

First Major Metropolitan Newspaper Editor Labels SEAS-Vytorin Cancer Data a "Link"

Well, it is not the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune or the New York Times, proper, but the editor of the Buffalo (NY) News has called the Vytorin SEAS cancer incidence findings a “tentative link” — do go read it all, but here is the punch-line:

. . . .Meanwhile, over in the heart and cholesterol aisle, the heavily marketed drug Vytorin is under suspicion by some experts as being a big, and potentially harmful, dud. Well, half of it is.

Vytorin is a mix of two medicines, a long-proven cholesterol- fighting statin and a newer medicine called Zetia. But the Zetia part has yet to establish that it actually helps people avoid heart attacks, live longer, healthier lives, or to do anything else but spend a lot more money on the new drug than it did on the old one. And one study in Norway has, very tentatively, linked Zetia to cancer.

In these cases, and many others, the FDA and the public are overly reliant on the good graces of drug companies to properly vet their medications to be as sure as possible that they not only help with disease but also don’t cause any horrible problems along the way.

Such assurances require not only extensive premarket trials but also exhaustive monitoring and follow-up afterward, which is when the drugs are used by enough people over enough time to give a real indication of their benefits and risks. That’s a moral responsibility — but if corporations don’t realize that, it should also be a mandated one. . . .

Indeed — with a HUGE H/T to PM [a fine “cameo blogger“, over at Gooznews].

I don’t mean to quibble too-excessively with the editor of the above-paper, but I do believe the spirit, if not the letter of the existing federal law already requires of drug firms what the editor suggests is now only a “moral” responsibility. I may come back to that in a moment [see the comments, for some of that material, below — and the summary chart, courtesy of FDA CDER database] or two — but it is now time for some Sunday morning cheese, mushroom and green-pepper omelets. . . .