My father was a cardiologist who started his practice in the 1970’s. In those days, the beauty and art of medicine were in the diagnosis of heart disease. They didn’t have many “tools” to treat patients. There were only a few pharmaceuticals and surgery was new on the scene. Fast forward to 2015. If you walk into a cardiology office you will walk out with a stack of prescriptions and orders for testing such as treadmills and ultrasounds. But what are the benefits?
Limitations for cholesterol will likely be removed from the 2015 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans; over consumption of dietary cholesterol is now cited as being of no concern. A recent review of studies investigating the link between dietary fat and causes of death concluded that recommendations to reduce the amount of fat we eat every day should never have been made. When fat was removed from processed foods, sugar was added in. This has led to a massive increase in obesity, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, even among children
As reported in the New York Times (2.20.15), a nutrition advisory panel that shapes U.S dietary advice eased some of the previous restrictions on fat and cholesterol, while at the same time recommending Americans lower their consumption of sugar. For many years, I have been writing and lecturing about the idiotic cholesterol and fat guidelines that the Powers-That-Be have been espousing. Over 30 years ago, we were told to eat less fat and cholesterol in order to lower our risk from dying from cardiovascular disease. During that same time we were encouraged to increase our consumption of carbohydrates in the form of grains and bakery products. We followed the Powers-That-Be’s advice and guess what? Our health has worsened. During the time we lowered our fat and cholesterol intake, we suffered with more obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Statins work by poisoning an enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) which is needed to produce cholesterol, adrenal and sex hormones, memory proteins and maintain cell energy. The highest concentration of cholesterol in the body is found in the brain. There were 36,605 reports of brain dysfunction from the FDA Adverse Events Databases which included memory impairment, transient cases of global amnesia, confusion, paranoia, disorientation, depression, and dementia related to statin use. Remember, this number is thought to represent only 1-10% of the true number of adverse drug reactions.
Why should a 2% cardiovascular risk reduction in a drug that has shown nothing before this be considered a success? And, keep in mind, that this risk reduction did not include the most meaningful risk reduction–death. This study found no difference in the most important endpoints: overall deaths, cardiovascular deaths, or coronary deaths. Why does my profession accept this mediocrity? Not only do they accept it, they embrace it. It is pathetic. Folks, we spend too much money on drugs that provide little, if any, benefit. In fact, we spend more on drugs than any country on the face of the earth and we lag behind every major Western country on every important health and disease indicator. This study should be the last nail in the coffin for Vytorin. It is a failed drug that has little usefulness. We would be better served to remove it from the marketplace.
Here is a fact that has been known for quite a long time, but it is still news to many people: People with higher cholesterol levels live longer than people with lower cholesterol levels. The reason why this fact is not well-known in the general public is because it would put a huge dent into a $100 BILLION drug market for statin drugs - drugs that lower your cholesterol. With approximately one out of every 4 Americans over the age of 50 currently prescribed a statin drug, a drug with very serious side effects, this is certainly one issue you should investigate yourself.
Lawsuits filed against Pfizer for their blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor reached 1162 cases filed in August. Almost all of theses cases have been filed since April, when a new study was released linking Type 2 diabetes in women with the popular statin drug. Attorneys filing claims for the victims have stated the cases could well reach 10,000. Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are a $100 billion a year industry. Lipitor is by far the most profitable drug in the history of mankind among all pharmaceutical products, let alone being the most profitable cholesterol drug before its patent expired at the end of 2011. Sales to date from this one particular cholesterol-lowering statin drug have exceeded $140 billion. Lipitor benefited from the change in marketing laws in 1997 that allowed pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. to advertise their products directly to consumers. Pfizer convinced an entire generation of Americans that they needed a pill to lower their cholesterol in order to prevent heart disease, in what will go down as one of the most brilliant and unethical marketing schemes of all time. After Lipitor’s patent expired at the end of 2011, the FDA issued its first warnings against statin drugs, which includes: liver injury, memory loss, diabetes, and muscle damage. Soon after issuing these warnings, the lawsuits started trickling in. Today, with more and more studies being published linking statin drug use to various side effects, those lawsuits have become a tidal wave, even though you are not likely to hear much about this in the mainstream media.
A study published in 2014 in the international journal Drug Safety found a positive association between regular statin drug use and Bell's palsy, a neurologic disorder. This study confirms what Dr. Stephanie Seneff published back in 2009, showing how statin drugs used to lower cholesterol could be a main cause of Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases in old age.
We reported last week here at Health Impact News that lawsuits filed against a manufacturer of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs had exceeded 1,000 claims just since April this year, primarily against Pfizer's Lipitor. Today, the mainstream media has finally picked up the story, as Reuter's ran a report widely distributed over several mainstream news sites. In the Reuters' story, Jessica Dye reports that U.S. women who say Lipitor gave them type-2 diabetes shot up from 56 to almost 1,000 court lawsuits in less than 5 months. Dye also interviewed H. Blair Hahn of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, the lead lawyer appointed to represent Lipitor plaintiffs in federal court. "We will ask a jury to decide what it's worth to take five years of someone's life," Hahn reportedly said. Hahn also stated that the 1,000 cases filed so far represent 4,000 women, and that the number of cases could ultimately reach 10,000 or more.
Fresh off recent news that more than 1,000 people have filed lawsuits for damages due to cholesterol-lowering drugs since April this year, comes the remarkable story reported in the Wall Street Journal that Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sanofi SA are spending $67.5 million to purchase a voucher that will allow them to get the FDA to fast-track approval of a new class of cholesterol drugs. By purchasing this voucher, they hope to beat rival drug company Amgen, Inc. in being first to market with these new cholesterol-lowering drugs. Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting that this is a first-of-its-kind deal offered by the FDA to fast track a drug through the purchase of a voucher. However, the original voucher issued by the FDA was not even for a cholesterol lowering drug. It was originally issued to BioMarin Pharmaceutical under a 2012 law designed to reward companies for investing in drugs for rare childhood diseases. This law, which the FDA says was "intended to encourage the development of treatments for rare pediatric diseases," also allowed those awarded such vouchers to sell them to other drug companies for the development of other drugs. This has effectively created a type of legal "black market" where drug companies can sell these vouchers to the highest bidder, even though they were intended by the FDA to approve new drugs specifically for the "development of treatments for rare pediatric diseases." Since this apparently does not raise any ethical questions in the mainstream media, I will raise them here.