The New York Times reports on new safety concerns regarding Reminyl, a medication for Alzheimer's disease:
In the trials, which lasted two years, 15 patients taking Reminyl died compared with 5 taking the placebo. There were various causes of death but many were from heart attacks and strokes, a company spokeswoman, Carol Goodrich, said.
The announcement comes at a time of heightened concern over the safety of widely used drugs after the withdrawal from the market of Merck's pain reliever, Vioxx, which studies indicated posed an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Johnson & Johnson said that overall number of deaths in the trials was low for the elderly population in the trial and that the incidence of serious side effects was the same for patients getting the drug and the placebo. Also, it said, the investigators in the trials had not thought the drug caused any of the deaths.