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A study involving over 10,000 post-menopausal women over five years has concluded that, although Eli Lilly’s osteoporosis treatment Evista reduces the risk of breast cancer, it also brings a 49% higher chance of a fatal stroke. Evista has been associated with an increased risk of blood clots for some time, and the drug maker’s label warns of that. But the increased risk of fatal stroke was just recently reported by the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Women will need to balance the increased risks of blood clots and fatal strokes with protection against osteoporosis and breast cancer.

According to Dow Jones Newswires, Lilly has signed a deal with Daiichi Sankyo to market and distribute Evista in certain European countries, and here in the U.S., it plans to seek FDA approval to market the drug as a breast cancer preventative.

Evista was launched in 1998, and has become one of Eli Lilly’s best-selling drugs, with sales last year of $1 billion.

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