Do Not Take This Statin Cholesterol Lowering Drug Until You Read This!

598 out of every 600 People will needlessly take and pay for a newly approved drug that will do nothing for them except potentially introduce side-effects they did not have before.

The FDA recently approved the use of the statin cholesterol lowering drug Crestor, in healthy people whose cholesterol was not elevated. The alleged benefit of taking the drug is to reduce heart attacks and strokes in healthy people who had 2 risk factors – High C-Reactive Protein (which is a measure of inflammation) and high blood pressure or smoking.

The FDA based it’s approval to use Crestor preventively to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke because a large study showed about a 50+% risk reduction in this group of patients. WHAT COULD BE BAD ABOUT THAT?

It is very hard to understand why the FDA allows this 50% number to be used, without significant explanation to patients of the real meaning, benefits and risks of this statistic.

HERE IS THE EXPLANATION AS TO WHY ALLOWING THIS STATISTIC TO BE QUOTED IS SO MISLEADING.

The group of patients who were studied and to whom the medicine will be recommended, are basically healthy people who have no history of heart disease or stroke. If they smoke or have high blood pressure + show high C-Reactive protein, they qualify for the drug. The absolute risk of this group of patients for having a heart attack or stroke is 1/3 of 1 percent if they do nothing and don’t take the drug. In other words for every 600 patients in this group who do nothing, only 2 will ever have a heart attack or stroke. (and because they are healthy even those 2 heart attacks or strokes will probably not be life threatening).

Fast forward -A pharmaceutical giant conducts a study and gives thousands of these patients Crestor which costs $3.50 per pill per day and the study found that instead of 2 heart attacks or strokes occurring in every 600 patients, only 1 heart attack or stroke will occur in every 600 patients. Yes this is a reduction of 50% but 50% of a number that was so tiny, that it was an insignificant risk of occurring in these patients had they done nothing.

Another way to look at this is that the pharmaceutical company convinced the FDA to approve a drug (with potential serious side-effects) that needlessly put 598 people on a medicine they didn’t ever need and expose them to side-effects like liver toxicity and muscle problems, and increased risk of diabetes, to eliminate 1 (ONE) heart attack or stroke in 600 people. 598 people out of 600 pay for a drug that they not only didn’t need but could introduce serious health issues they didn’t have before.

To complicate the picture even more, the physician who receives a royalty on every C-reactive protein lab test run in the country, was the physician who convinced the drug company to do the study.

Many well known and respected physicians are concerned at the prospect of giving statin drugs to healthy people for such a ridiculously small benefit and other potential problems.

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