Vytorin Heart Study Expanded; Results Delayed


U.S. researchers said on Friday they plan to expand the size of a major study to determine the heart benefits of the controversial cholesterol fighter Vytorin, which they said would delay results until 2012.

Vytorin, a drug that combines the statin Zocor with another cholesterol medicine Zetia, is marketed by a joint venture of Merck and Schering-Plough.

Academic researchers running the trial said in a statement they would increase the study size to 18,000 patients to strengthen the results, which aim to show that the drug prevents heart attacks and other heart problems.

The study was originally designed to enroll 10,000 patients and expected to be completed in 2011.