NEW YORK, March 7 (UPI) -- U.S. drug powerhouse Pfizer said Wednesday its top-selling cholesterol drug Lipitor has been approved for five new uses for heart disease.
The new uses include reducing the risk of non-fatal heart attacks; fatal and non-fatal strokes; certain types of heart surgery; hospitalization for heart failure; and chest pain in patients with heart disease.
Pfizer noted its drug is the first cholesterol-lowering therapy to get a nod from the Food and Drug Administration for the reduction of the risk of hospitalization for heart failure.
The move expands Lipitor's use to patients at high risk for cardiovascular events because of established heart disease like prior heart attack, prior heart surgery or chest pain with evidence of clogged arteries, Pfizer said. Previously, the treatment was approved to reduce cardiovascular events in patients without heart disease.
"These new indications are important since many patients who have heart disease remain at risk for another cardiovascular event, and now these indications broaden the means to reduce their risk," said John LaRosa, president and professor of medicine at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn and lead investigator in the Treating to New Targets trial. "The significant reduction in cardiovascular events seen in the TNT trial can now be applied to everyday practice and benefit people with heart disease in the United States."