Call for removal of Crestor


NB. Please note that if you are outside North America, the embargo for LANCET press material is 0001 hours UK Time 25 June 2004.

The author of a letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET is calling for the removal of the statin rosuvastatin (Crestor) from the drug market, based on data suggesting that it has a poorer safety profile than other licensed statin drugs.

A Lancet editorial (Lancet 2003; 362: 1341) voiced concerns about the high-profile marketing of rosuvastatin despite the lack of strong evidence from large randomised trials to support its efficacy and safety. Writing in this week's issue, Sidney Wolfe from Public Citizen, a non-profit consumer advocacy organisation based in Washington DC, USA, presents pre-marketing and post-marketing data detailing a higher incidence of rhabdomyolysis (the breakdown of muscle fibre which can cause kidney failure) compared with other statins.

Dr. Wolfe comments: "By now, the number of reported cases of rhabdomyolysis and renal insufficiency or renal failure-20 of which have occurred in people using 10 mg [the lowest dose of the drug]-is certain to have increased substantially from the number filed by April 13, 2004.

The renal toxicity, high rate of cases of rhabdomyolysis compared with other statins, and lack of unique benefit are compelling reasons to remove rosuvastatin from the market before additional patients are injured or killed. To allow AstraZeneca to continue desperately seeking a piece of the estimated $20 billion-a-year statin market hardly justifies governments allowing this ultimately doomed drug to stay on the market". (quote from published letter).

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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