U.S. Group: AstraZeneca Drug Risk Higher Than Others

The rate of serious muscle damage reported in patients who took AstraZeneca Plc’s cholesterol drug Crestor was six times higher than with similar medicines, a consumer group said on Thursday.The findings by consumer group Public Citizen contradicted a statement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week that the risks of muscle injury from Crestor were similar to those of related drugs.Public Citizen renewed its call for the FDA to immediately ban Crestor, one of a family of drugs called statins. Millions of people take statins to lower their cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.The group said it had reviewed reports of cases of rhabdomyolysis, a life-threatening muscle breakdown, and compared them with the number of prescriptions filled for each drug. The reports were submitted to the FDA between Oct. 1, 2003, and Sept. 30, 2004.