Desperate Big Pharma Push to Double Statin Sales

November 11, 2008 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Desperate Big Pharma Push to Double Statin Sales
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.

Related articles:

The Vital Role of Cholesterol in Health, October 8, 2008
Statins Drastically Impair Healthy Muscle, September 29, 2008
Statins Increase Delirium Rate After Surgery, September 23, 2008
Vytorin Cancer Link Opens Can of Worms, September 3, 2008
Fish Oil Helps Heart Patients – Statins Don’t, September 2, 2008
Low Cholesterol Increases Cancer and Death Risk, August 26, 2008
15% of Population at High Risk for Statin Injury, August 26, 2008
More Insane Statin Pushing on Children, August 7, 2008
Cholesterol is Not the Cause of Heart Disease, August 7, 2008
Antioxidants Low in Coronary Artery Disease, June 29, 2008
Don’t Forget Vitamin C for Your Arteries, June 28, 2008
Perverse Corruption as Doctors are Paid to Sell Drugs, June 20, 2008
Western Medicine Fails Tim Russert, June 18, 2008
Did Statins Cause Senator Ted Kennedy’s Brain Tumor? May 22, 2008
Low LDL Cholesterol Associated with Parkinson’s Risk, April 13 2008
Vytorin Fraud Blasted at Heart Meeting, April 1, 2008
Tocotrienols – A Multi-Dimensional Nutrient Powerhouse, March 7, 2008
Cholesterol Medication Causes Tendon Ruptures, March 3, 2008
The Failure of Cardiovascular Medication, February 11, 2008
Low Levels of Vitamin E Linked to Declining Health of Seniors, January 23, 2008
Vytorin Fraud Places all Statin Therapy in Question, January 15, 2008
Vitamin C Associated with 42% Reduced Risk for Stroke, January 14, 2008
The Statin Scam Marches On, December 10, 2007

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ The Outlandish Jupiter Study  NEJM  Paul M Ridker, Eleanor Danielson, Francisco A.H. Fonseca, Jacques Genest, Antonio M. Gotto, Jr., John J.P. Kastelein, Wolfgang Koenig, Peter Libby, Alberto J. Lorenzatti, Jean G. MacFadyen, BA Børg.
  2. ^ Aerobic Fitness Is Associated with the Lowest CRP Levels  J Appl Physiol.   Kullo IJ, Khaleghi M, Hensrud DD.
  3. ^ Aerobic Fitness Predicts CRP Levels in Type II Diabetics  Am J Cardiol.   Jae SY, Heffernan KS, Lee MK, Fernhall B, Park WH.
  4. ^ Synthetic Vitamin E Does Not Reduce Heart Disease  JAMA  Howard D. Sesso, Julie E. Buring, William G. Christen, Tobias Kurth, Charlene Belanger, Jean MacFadyen, Vadim Bubes, JoAnn E. Manson, Robert J. Glynn, J. Michael Gaziano.
  5. ^ Natural Vitamin E Reduces CRP  Am J Clin Nutr.   Devaraj S, Tang R, Adams-Huet B, Harris A, Seenivasan T, de Lemos JA, Jialal I.
  6. ^ Vitamin C Reduces CRP  Free Radic Biol Med.  Block G, Jensen CD, Dalvi TB, Norkus EP, Hudes M, Crawford PB, Holland N, Fung EB, Schumacher L, Harmatz P.
  7. ^ Stress of Weight Loss Can Elevate CRP  J Am Coll Nutr.  Rankin JW, Turpyn AD.
  8. ^ Vitamins E and C Reduce CRP Associated with Stress of Dieting  Obesity (Silver Spring).  Peairs AT, Rankin JW.

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