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Lipitor Beats Pravachol In Heart Study

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ORLANDO, Fla., Nov 13, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A scientific study indicates Lipitor is more effective than Pravachol, a researcher told colleagues at a meeting in Orlando, Fla..

Both drugs are widely prescribed to treat high cholesterol, but in patients taking Pravachol atherosclerosis worsened slowly over 18 months, whereas the disease was halted in patients taking Lipitor, the New York Times reported Thursday.

"We saw something extraordinary," said Dr. Steven Nissen, the cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic who directed a study of 502 patients.

"All statins are not alike," Nissen said, adding that with Pravachol, heart atherosclerosis will worsen, but with the highest dose of Lipitor, that is unlikely.

Pfizer sponsored the study, but Nissen insisted he control the study and its data analysis -- and had the right by contract to publish the results whether positive or negative for Pfizer.

He described his study Wednesday at the American Heart Association meeting.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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