Updated from 2:57 p.m.

Shares of Forbes Medi-Tech ( FMTI) were among the best-performing health-related stocks Wednesday, rising 15.5% after the company said its cholesterol-lowering ingredient, Reducol, received European marketing approval.

The approval means that Reducol can be included in seven major food groups. "Our sales opportunities have increased significantly with the approval of Reducol in these key food groups," the company said. The ingredient will now be included in items such as margarine, soy drinks, yogurt-type products, spicy sauces, and salad dressings. Shares traded up 34 cents to $2.53.

ISTA Pharmaceuticals fell 5.8% after the company posted a fourth-quarter loss that was wider than expected. The company posted a loss of $9.7 million, or 50 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting a smaller loss of 42 cents a share. Because of generic substitution, the company said it did not record any Istalol sales during the fourth quarter. Istalol is an eye-drop solution of timolol, a beta-blocking agent for the treatment of glaucoma. Shares traded down 63 cents to $10.24.

Shares of Hospira ( HSP) rose 6.7% after the maker of hospital products posted fourth-quarter earnings that were better than expected. Excluding items, the company earned $62.9 million, or 40 cents a share, on sales of $700.3 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 35 cents a share on sales of $676.7 million. Looking ahead, Hospira reaffirmed its 2005 earnings guidance, saying that it expects adjusted earnings of $1.53 to $1.60 a share. Analysts are expecting 2005 earnings of $1.60 a share. Shares traded up $2.01 to $31.86.

Cantel Medical ( CMN) rose 6.5% after the company posted second-quarter earnings and sales that beat expectations. The healthcare company earned $3.88 million, or 24 cents a share, on sales of $49.5 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 21 cents a share on sales of $46.3 million. A year ago the company earned $2.57 million, or 17 cents a share, on sales of $41.1 million. Shares traded up $1.62 to $26.72.

Other health care movers included Elan ( ELN), down 3 cents to $7.94; Biogen Idec ( BIIB - Get Report), down 38 cents to $40.88; Pfizer ( PFE), unchanged at $26.56; Aastrom Biosciences ( ASTM), up 47 cents to $3.09; Chiron up $2.27 to $37.69; StemCells ( STEM), up 65 cents to $4.98; Merck ( MRK), down 15 cents to $31.60; and Amgen ( AMGN), down 80 cents to $61.44.