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OTC advocates

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Statin cholesterol-lowering drugs "have a long history of safe use, minimal side effects" and "could be used safely and responsibly in an OTC setting" to treat mild to moderately elevated cholesterol, the Interamerican College of Physicians & Surgeons tells FDA in comments leading up to the June 28-29 meetings on switch-related issues. FDA advisory committees will consider OTC status for the statin drugs Mevacor (Merck) and Pravachol (Bristol-Myers Squibb) July 13-14. Also, Blue Cross of California Pharmacy VP Robert Seidman plans to testify at the June meeting in favor of switching Rx antihistamines and antihistamine/decongestants, such as Hoechst Marion Roussel's Allegra, Schering-Plough's Claritin and Pfizer's Zyrtec. Seidman petitioned FDA in July 1998 for the switches (1"The Tan Sheet" Jan. 25, 1999, p. 20)

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