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March 19, 1982

New lipid-lowering drug now on the market

JAMA. 1982;247(11):1540. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320360008004

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A new lipid-lowering agent is now on the market after 11 years of development.

The agent is gemfibrozil (Lopid, 5-[2,5-dimethylphenoxy]-2,2-dimethylpentanoic acid), and it has been the subject of 41 clinical studies in 12 countries. In ten of those studies involving 785 patients, says the manufacturer (Parke-Davis division of Warner-Lambert Company), "triglyceride levels in 80% of the group decreased 35% or to normal, and in 50% of the subjects cholesterol dropped 20% or to normal." Another study involving about 4,000 dyslipidemic patients currently is under way in Helsinki to try to determine if gemfibrozil also can cause regression of atheromas. Before-and-after angiography will be carried out among other studies, and results may be available by 1984.

Marketed as a 300-mg capsule for oral administration, gemfibrozil generally will be given only to patients having a clearly defined risk of coronary heart disease owing to severe familiar hypercholesterolemia who have failed to respond