Medicine: Lowly Lifesaver

Gout drug aids heart victims

Seldom has a drug company been so modest about one of its products.

In describing Anturane, Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals said only: "Its pharmacologic activity is limited almost exclusively to the potentiation of the urinary excretion of uric acid." In plain English, Anturane was considered useful only for the treatment of gout. But last week the preliminary results of a massive study, involving 1,475 heart-attack victims at 26 medical centers in the U.S. and Canada, produced a stunning surprise: the soft-sell gout drug may save or prolong the lives of hundreds...

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