The U.K.'s regulatory agency for health is deciding whether to allow statin drugs -- taken to reduce cholesterol -- to be available over-the-counter. Merck could be the first to capture the country's statin OTC market since it's anxious to make up for lost sales of Zocor, which lost patent expiration in the U.K. earlier this year. Merck also is working to get statins approved for OTC use in the U.S., where the FDA is soon expected to consider the issue.

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