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Group Renews Call for Withdrawal of Cholesterol Drug

Oct 29, 2004 |

A leading consumer watchdog group issued a new warning Friday about the cholesterol-lowering drug Crestor, alleging that patients who use it are 75 times likelier to suffer kidney damage than are patients using any other statin.

Public Citizen has been urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to pull Crestor off the shelves, and contended that the drug was dangerous even before it won FDA approval last year.

Its latest analysis found that the rate of reports to the FDA of acute renal failure or renal insufficiency in patients using Crestor is approximately 75 times higher than the rate for all other statin drugs put together.

"It becomes clearer by the day that this drug is uniquely toxic but offers no unique benefit, and must be removed from the market," Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, wrote in a letter to the FDA. The FDA and Crestor's maker, AstraZeneca, contend that the drug is safe.

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