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Dangerous Practices

Critics see flaws in drug-safety monitoring

It was the best of statins, it was the worst of statins. The anticholesterol drug cerivastatin, sold under the brand name Baycol, was the most potent medicine in its class in the late 1990s. In 2001, however, it was ripped from the marketplace after being linked to an unusually high incidence of a rare, but sometimes deadly, side effect. In certain respects, the compound's meteoric career portended the recent deluge of bad news about one drug after another.

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