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Pfizer admits atorvastatin study error


Pfizer has backed away from the findings of a study announced at a conference earlier this year, which suggested atorvastatin was associated with fewer cardiovascular events than simvastatin.

An error in the study was apparently discovered when it was submitted for publication. It was originally presented at the American Heart Association 47th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.

The study used data from a managed care organisation to investigate cardiovascular events in some 80,000 patients who had taken atorvastatin or simvastatin. According to the original results, atorvastatin was said to be more effective than simvastatin with a 14% – statistically significant – difference in events.

The latest announcement, made as a statement to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, states that the 14% difference was incorrect as a result of a “programming error”, and that the difference was actually 10% and nonsignificant.

National Electronic Library for Medicines 19/6/2007


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