ABC's choice to lead its newscast was the failure of Pfizer's new heart pill Torcetrapib in clinical trials. John McKenzie (subscription required) told us that it was supposed to be the next blockbuster drug, with millions of potential patients. The medicine, which cost $800m to develop, was designed to raise HDL so-called "good cholesterol" but in clinical trials more people who took the pill died than those who did not. The numbers in the trial were small, 82 deaths vs 51, but McKenzie pointed out that, if approved, those excess deaths would be multiplied by millions. "This time, the drug testing process worked."
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