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Advocate Suggests Crestor May Harm Kidneys

Oct 29, 2004 | AP

Consumer advocate Dr. Sidney Wolfe renewed his effort Friday to get the anti-cholesterol drug Crestor removed from sale.

Wolfe sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration citing 29 cases of kidney problems 18 of kidney failure and 11 of kidney insufficiency out of some 4.5 million prescriptions for the drug between Jan. 1, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2003.

That is more kidney problems than reported by all other statin-type anti-cholesterol drugs, Wolfe said.

Emily Denney, a spokesperson for drugmaker AstraZeneca, responded that the company keeps close watch of safety reports for the drug and "we feel ever more confident with Crestor."

She said a company analysis of FDA data indicated that, compared to other statins, Crestor was about average for kidney failure as a percentage of side effects.

Data provided by AstraZeneca indicated that kidney failure made up 3.5 percent of adverse events for Crestor known by the generic name rosuvastatin compared to 5.7 percent for lovastatin, 4.0 percent for simvastatin and fluvastatin, 3.0 percent for pravastatin and 2.2 percent for atorvastatin.

There was no immediate response to Wolfe's letter from the FDA.

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