Why Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)'s Niacin Failure Will Scare Drug Researchers
12/21/2012 8:39:58 AM
This morning, drug researchers and cardiologists were again shocked by a big “everything you thought you knew is wrong” moment. Niacin, a B vitamin, has been used for forty years to help millions of patients control their cholesterol levels. A prescription form, Niaspan, has sales of $900 million a year for Abbott Laboratories‘ AbbVie unit. Merck had hoped to have an even bigger success with a new version that combined niacin and another drug to reduce the vitamin’s main side effect: making patients’ faces flushed and hot.