As discussed earlier, Merck and Co.’s (MRK) Vytorin is a cholesterol drug that blocks the absorption of cholesterol from food and reduces the cholesterol made by the patient’s body naturally. Vytorin is a combination of two cholesterol drugs: Zetia and Zocor. Vytorin contains both of these drugs in a single tablet.
Pfizer’s Caduet and Lipitor
Pfizer’s (PFE) Caduet is a combination of Norvasc and Lipitor and is a combination therapy used to treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Norvasc, also known as amlodipine besylate, is a drug used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain, and blocked arteries. It is used for hypertension, angina pain, and coronary artery disease.
Lipitor, also known as atorvastatin calcium, is a drug used to lower bad cholesterol (or LDL levels) and triglycerides, and raise the level of good cholesterol (or HDL levels) in the blood, along with a low-fat diet.
AbbVie’s (ABBV) Niaspan, also known as niacin, is a drug used along with a low-fat diet to lower the bad cholesterol (or LDL levels) and triglycerides, and raise the level of good cholesterol (or HDL levels) in the blood.
AstraZeneca’s (AZN) Crestor, also known as rosuvastatin calcium, is a drug used along with a low-fat diet to lower the cholesterol levels in the blood and reduce the plaque buildup in the arteries.
Some other drugs used to reduce cholesterol levels include Merck’s Zetia, Zocor, and Mevacor; Kowa Pharmaceuticals’ Livalo; AbbVie’s Advicor; and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMY) Pravachol.
Investors can consider ETFs like the S&P 500 SPDR ETF (SPY), which holds ~0.8% of its investments in Merck, or the Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV), which holds ~5.5% of its total investments in Merck, in order to divest company-specific risk.