UPDATE 1-EU agency confirms suspension of Merck cholesterol drug

LONDON Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:39am EST

LONDON Jan 18 (Reuters) - Europe's drug regulator has confirmed it is suspending marketing authorisations for Merck & Co's cholesterol drug Tredaptive in Europe after its failure in a major study raised safety concerns.

Merck began recalling the drug, which is also sold under the brand names Pelzont and Trevaclyn, on Jan. 11 and recommended that doctors stop prescribing it.

The medicine had been on the market in 40 countries worldwide, but is not approved in the United States.

The European Medicines Agency said patients currently taking the drug should see their doctor to discuss their treatment.

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