Advisory panel to consider risks of possible OTC cholesterol drug

01/13/2005 | NYTimes.com

The FDA wants an advisory panel to consider potential risks of people taking large doses of Merck's cholesterol drug Mevacor, which the company wants to sell over the counter. Some FDA staff members say the drug offers benefits if taken properly, but want the review panel, scheduled to meet today and tomorrow, to consider possible risks from higher doses. Medical experts differ on the proposal, with some saying easier access to statins would help curb heart disease, while others say possible side effects should be monitored by doctors.

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