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« Fact for the Day | Main | Short Distance Contrasts »

November 14, 2008

The Statin News

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Michael Eades, Hyperlipid, and Jenny take sober looks at a recent study that led the press to make great claims for Crestor. Eades' summary:

Let’s look at [the study] in the best light possible. If we do, we find that a small group of unusual patients - those with low LDL-cholesterol AND high C-reactive protein - may slightly decrease their risk for all-cause mortality by taking a drug that costs them almost $1,300 per year and slightly increases their risk for developing diabetes. That’s the best spin possible given the data from this study. Compare that to the spin the media is giving it.

Semi-related: What's really in that fast-food burger? Back here and here, I wrote about Eric Schlosser's "Fast Food Nation." I don't know about you, but especially when it comes to meat I'm happy to pay a few extra bucks for the quality stuff.



posted by Michael at November 14, 2008


Bow before BigPharma's Holy Grail. An expensive medication made from a cheap chemical that everyone has to take every day forever.

Posted by: Don McArthur on November 14, 2008 9:16 PM

Generic Zocor has already turned Merck’s anti-cholesterol blockbuster into a cheap commodity that’s chipping away at Pfizer’s Lipitor empire. Now no fewer than nine generic manufacturers are clamoring to challenge AstraZeneca’s patents on its super-statin Crestor.

The current study, whose results were trumpeted throughout the major media outlets was funded by AstraZeneca, manufacturer of Crestor. They're fighting to maintain the uniqueness of their brand.

The bigger, underlying issue is why people have a high CRP in the first place, since it indicates a systemic inflammatory reaction going on in the body. The etiology of such an infammatory process and its effects on the body's arterial system needs to be studied.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on November 15, 2008 3:33 AM

Statinism, Stalinism, Statism: all bad. And not unrelated.

Posted by: dearieme on November 16, 2008 10:11 AM

While looking for chocolate at Woolworth's the other day I strayed down the health-food aisle. I remarked to my companion: "This aisle stinks, let's get out of here." She agreed and we scurried back and away in search of our chocolates. It's not that I don't love nuts, dried beans and the like...but I object to the silly pieties underlying the use of vegetable proteins, and to the notion that meat, fat, offal and bone are somehow damaging to me or to that planet-thingy so beloved of finger-waggers.

Mind you, carb-phobia is equally montrous. Hyperlidic old men guzzling fat and protein so they can hang-out at with teenies at goth concerts...blech. Guys obsessively measuring their bodies and checking their internals and bodily fluids...effeminate!

Food-intellectualism is doomed because it is (like all intellectualism) shallow, barbaric and impious.

Now, here is how you can make meat, fat and bone into something like a chocolate bomb:

Take the usual whole dry spices (cumin, coriander, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, black mustard etc), roast and grind them - it takes a few minutes! - then add them to masses of fried down onions, ginger-root, turmeric-root, garlic and chillies. Fry the masala very hard in plenty of grease, caramelise with plenty of very dark sugar then add lumps of ox-tail. After turning and salting the mix, add whatever nice vinegar or tamarind you have and let it simmer forever, cooking it almost dry.

After forever, you will have the richest food known. Ox-tail vindaloo. If cooled, the jelly is stiff enough to break a spoon. Just lay it on plain rice. Brown rice is nice...but stay out of that commie health-food aisle.

Posted by: Robert Townshend on November 16, 2008 3:36 PM

We could cut health care costs dramatically by passing one simple law: Big Pharma and its many sales reps may not give medical workers from doctors down to file clerks anything of value other than drugs for doctors to use as samples for their patients nor may they invite any of these medical professionals to speak for a fee at some fancy resort on their tab.

We as a society are drastically over-medicated and a lot of it goes back to the wining and dining and bestowing of gifts ranging from cheap office gear to really expensive things such as paid vacations and big speaking fees on doctors and their staff. There are no studies that can come even close to assessing the effects of people's taking a combination of the various drugs for decades. Everybody's combination is different.

I took a statin drug for about 5-years and finally quit. I was having leg cramps and one hand was so weak that I had trouble opening a jar. All of that went away when I quit the statins. I had initially attributed the hand to carpal tunnel because I spend a lot of time on the keyboard and had for years. The leg cramps I figured were the usual aches and pains of hitting 60.

I volunteer to help Medicare clients navigate open enrollment on part D (drugs). Open enrollment started Nov 15 and I've researched probably 60 or more people's drug plans. Most have a statin.

I'd be willing to bet that a lot of the symptoms attributed to age and arthritis in these patients are the results of statins. Naturally they are getting drugs for arthritis as well.

And the beat goes on.......

Posted by: D Flinchum on November 17, 2008 7:19 AM

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