Bristol-Myers Squibb has taken official action to get FDA approval to sell its cholesterol-lowering Pravachol over the counter, possibly paving the way for OTC versions of other statins. Bristol-Myers faces the loss of its patent on Pravachol in just over a year and OTC sales are seen as opening a new market for the drugs. An FDA advisory panel plans to meet in mid-January on a similar request by Merck for Mevacor.

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