Pfizer Torcetrapib deaths
Pfizer, a drug manufacturer, confirmed on 3 December 2006 that they had abandoned the development of a new heart drug, Torcetrapib, after evidence emerged from a trial involving 15,000 patients that it increased death rates from heart attacks and strokes.
The decision to stop the trial of Torcetrapib came when data was analysed by the safety committee. Although a member of the committee said that the information was unexpected there had been previous warning signs about Torcetrapib. In earlier trials it had shown signs of raising blood pressure which can increase the risk of suffering from both heart disease and stroke.
Pfizer Torcetrapib trials across UK
It is unclear at this time how many British patients were taking the drug, but trials were ongoing at 22 sites across Britain, including London, Birmingham, Dundee, Bath, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Romford and Warwick. Pfizer have not said whether any of the deaths were in Britain.
Torcetrapib was designed to raise the levels of "good" cholesterol in the blood stream by inhibiting a protein in the liver which transports cholesterol.
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