Desperate Big Pharma Push to Double Statin Sales
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
In the face of overwhelming negative science the statin marketing machine marches on, now suggesting that statins should be given to middle aged men and women even though they don’t have elevated cholesterol. Apparently there is a critical mass of Big Pharma backed statin-pushers who have hoodwinked a nation under the false pretense of cardiovascular health and are now ready to go for the jugular. I have a few questions for any statin believers who happen to read this article: “If statins are so great then why does your liver see them as a poison that must be detoxified? Did your liver forget to read the American Heart Association’s press release?”
It is my opinion that statins do little more than put your cardiovascular system in a wheelchair, especially when combined with other troublesome medications like blood pressure pills. There is a reason that the more aggressively these medications are used, especially with diabetics, the faster people die. It is a sad commentary on modern medicine that their best efforts to promote quality of cardiovascular health in the over 50 crowd is a collection of de-energizing and de-pressurizing anti-survival medications that have the net result of treating every person so managed as if they are Humpty Dumpty about ready to fall off a cardiovascular cliff.
In the world of fast-food medicine, where numbers on paper are far more important than you, this is a dumbed-down version of medicine suitable for most of those now practicing the subject. Big Pharma’s task of brainwashing the American public into this system of health is getting progressively more difficult. The generation of utterly brainwashed older Americans has almost been completely wiped out by these drugs. Those in their 60s and 70s are a little bit smarter, but still far too many are in a trance when their doctors speak. Those in their 50s are more likely to protest, but only so far as to wish their doctors would incorporate more natural and preventive solutions. The majority of Americans over 50 will still jump off whatever bridge their doctor points to. Most of these drug-popping people would laugh at how dumb anyone is for being in any cult, not even able to see they are a part of the Big Pharma cult making tens of billions in fraudulent profits every year.
Think about it for a minute. How did Eli Lilly have the money to buy ImClone for 6.5 billion dollars in cash during the worst financial meltdown in the history of the United States? Answer: they stockpiled billions of dollars by defrauding taxpayers with off label sales of dangerous brain meds like Zyprexa and Cymbalta, preying on disadvantaged individuals (both old and young) and collecting the money through Medicaid and Medicare at taxpayer expense (and actually got themselves included in the bailout to keep this scam going indefinitely). In this new world of nonsense, the Wall Street Journal reported than ImClone, on paper, is worth more than General Motors! And ImClone sells near worthless biotech cancer drugs that don’t cure cancer but keep people alive just long enough to bilk them of their entire life savings before they die ($30,000 for each 8 weeks of treatment). The Big Pharma motto is: Manage symptoms, manage numbers, and never under any circumstances make someone healthy so they don’t need a drug.
The questionable practice of cardiovascular preventive medicine, fueled by false “independent” groups like the American Heart Association, is a main power behind the fraudulent promotion of the 20 billion-dollar-a-year statin racket. Scientists around the country shake in their boots at the notion of stepping on any statin toes with the truth. Not that they really have to worry, since almost all major medical marketing magazines (otherwise known as scientific journals) refuse to run any study counter to the statin propaganda for fear of losing advertising dollars. Only in smaller journals from other countries can we see any truth trying to poke its head up out of the sand.
With that brief background, let’s have a look at the latest round of misinformation coming from the American Heart Association and its friends. It’s that time of year, the annual meeting of the American Heart Association. Missiles are shot at vitamin E, while trumpets blare as the statin red carpet rolls out.
The Jupiter Study
This year’s propaganda showpiece is the Jupiter study1. Here is the official party line, so elegantly reported by the New York Times: “A large new study suggests that millions more people could benefit from taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins, even if they have low cholesterol, because the drugs can significantly lower their risk of heart attacks, strokes and death. The study, involving nearly 18,000 people worldwide, tested statin treatment in men 50 and older and in women 60 and older who did not have high cholesterol or histories of heart disease. What they did have was high levels of a protein called high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, or CRP, which indicates inflammation in the body. The study, presented Sunday at an American Heart Association convention in New Orleans and published online in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that the risk of heart attack was more than cut in half for people who took statins.”
This sounds great, except the original risk in the study group was negligible. The data actually means that 120 people would need to take Crestor for 2 years to prevent 1 heart attack or stroke. At a cost of $3.45 a day, that’s $300,000 for Big Pharma to stop one problem. Excuse me, but the only news here is the potential bilking of taxpayers and insurance companies.
Crestor, the statin drug used in this study, is the most toxic of all statin drugs. It works by overwhelming your liver’s ability to clear it. A Public Citizen petition to the FDA to have this drug removed from the market was denied, as the current FDA is nothing more than a gatekeeper for Big Pharma profits. Unless corpses are showing up in droves at their door (as with the statin Baycol) the FDA looks the other way no matter what damage is being done.
The five-year Jupiter study was stopped after two years, under the pretense of overwhelming success (normally studies are stopped because of adverse effects). Since the side effects of any statin are progressive and cumulative over time, it is likely that the real reason the study was stopped was to publish favorable results before the predictable adverse side effects had time to manifest. Even in this short two-year period there was a 20% increased risk for diabetes from taking Crestor – a fact that was conveniently downplayed.
This study will be used to promote the sale of dangerous statin drugs to double the current number taking them (which is now at 17 million). First a person will need a test to see if they even have elevated CRP, which of course implies someone pays for the test. The leader of the Jupiter study, Dr. Paul M. Ridker, by some strange coincidence is the co-inventor of the CRP test. Does anyone smell a financial rat?
Exercise Reduces CRP, Extends Life, and Doesn’t Cost Anything
I’m all in favor of anyone reducing their inflammation level to enhance their health. After all, life can rack up a lot of wear and tear. There is no one pill that will fix the wear and tear in your life. You need adequate rejuvenating sleep, good stress management skills, a healthy diet, and exercise. It is actually a project to be healthy. The time you spend at it extends your life, so the idea that you don’t have enough time to do healthy behaviors is illogical.
The most effective way to lower your CRP is to be physically fit. Your aerobic capacity2 is a direct predictor of your CRP level. The more aerobically fit you are the lower your CRP. This is not only true for healthy people; it is true for people with type II diabetes3. Aerobic exercise has been proven to extend your life, rejuvenate your heart, reduce virtually all inflammatory diseases of aging – and it doesn’t cost a penny. Now why should society pay excessive money for statins for prevention when all people need to do is get off their duffs and exercise? There is no combination of cardiovascular drugs that can beat out aerobic fitness in any study showing extension of quality life.
AHA Makes Sure to Attack Vitamin E
Big Pharma is always terrified that people will take vitamins that have virtually no side effects and are a fraction of the cost, instead of their extremely dangerous drugs. Thus, part of the Big Pharma agenda is to use the American Heart Association meeting to not only promote statins but to directly attack vitamin E and other antioxidants.
For example, back in 2004 when the statin powers wanted to endorse lowering LDL cholesterol to abnormally low levels, they simultaneously promoted at their yearly AHA meeting bogus science saying that vitamin E increased the risk of death! (A complete fallacy.) Outside the AHA marketing meeting the chairman, Dr. Raymond Gibbons of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, was holding a dog and pony show press conference: “I spend all my time trying to tell patients why they should not take vitamin E. Too often in terms of the supplements there’s very scant science. In this area, we have the science. Vitamin E doesn’t work.” He implored his captive audience of reporters to help him convince patients to stop taking Vitamin E and take the “proven” drugs. The next day, all major media ran the story telling consumers vitamin E was dangerous. Program effective. Damage done.
This wonderful formula of success is once again in play, this time as the AHA tries to convince people without high cholesterol to take statins. JAMA released their “big” vitamin E study4 just in time for this week’s AHA meeting. The study shows that vitamin E and C don’t help heart disease in a large group of doctors. The vitamin E used in the study is a worthless synthetic produced from coal tar by the German drug company BASF, not at all a quality natural vitamin E that would do the job.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why these drug pushers are trying to attack vitamin E and vitamin C. In the Jupiter study Crestor reduced CRP by 37%. A daily dose of 1200 IU of natural vitamin E5 (not synthetic garbage from BASF) reduces CRP by 32% and 1000 mg of vitamin C6 a day reduces CRP by 25%. It is also known that when individuals try to lose weight on a higher fat/low carb diet their CRP elevates7 from 25 – 40%. A combination of 1000 mg of C and 800 IU of vitamin E not only prevents this increase of CRP during dieting; it reduces it by 32%8. Vitamins C and E are quite friendly to your liver, statins are not. And the nutrients are far less costly than the drug.
While many Americans believe, like president-elect Obama, that health care is a right, the reality is that no society can pay for drugs and services that do not actually show true health as a result of the treatment. Unless the use of a drug-based protocol can produce a cure and a return of health in a definable period of time (meaning the drug is no longer needed), there should be no obligation for society to be burdened with the costs of the fraudulent practice of medicine. Doing so amounts to a Big Pharma con job, with billions of tax payer dollars winding up in companies who have produced nothing of value. Numbers on paper are meaningless. Quality of health and extended years of quality life are the only products of value. It is time for Western Medicine to put up or shut up.
The Vital Role of Cholesterol in Health, October 8, 2008
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