An experimental drug boosted good cholesterol so high and dropped bad cholesterol so low in a study that doctors were stunned and voiced renewed hopes for an entirely new way of preventing heart attacks and strokes.
Responding to a new report today that drug companies are boosting prices this year in anticipation of Congress passing health care reform, Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said he will offer his bill easing restrictions on importation of cheaper drugs as an amendment to the Senate reform bill.
Stocks are falling as a $41 billion deal between drugmakers Merck and Schering-Plough does little to jolt investors out of their pessimistic mood. Remarks from billionaire investor Warren Buffett are adding to the gloom. Buffet says the economy has "fallen off a cliff" over the past six months.
In a press statement, Merck said that patients taking cladribine tablets had a nearly 60 percent lower relapse rate than those on placebo pills. The two-year study included 1,326 MS patients who were randomly divided into three groups. Two groups received different doses of cladribine and one group received fake pills. Patients on cladribine had up to a 60 percent reduced chance of having a relapse compared to patients on placebo. The study was paid for by Merck.
January 24, 2009
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