Maybe it’s a coincidence. But probably not. After the patent for Lipitor expired in 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began to issue warnings about statins, a type of drug used to reduce cholesterol.
The number of generic statin drugs on the market exploded. The number of lawsuits filed against Pfizer, the manufacturer of Lipitor, began to climb shortly thereafter.
After the FDA changed regulations to allow pharmaceutical manufacturers to market directly to the public in 1997, people flocked to their doctors demanding drugs to manage their health, including their cholesterol levels.
Disregarding studies exposing the dangers of Lipitor and similar drugs, tens of millions of people continued to take these medications and they are now paying the very dear price. Many are now turning back to the pharmaceutical companies to pay as well.
“The Most Financially Successful Drug of All Time”
Lipitor (drug name atorvastatin) is the most widely-prescribed cholesterol-lowering drug and has grossed over $140 billion in sales since its release–the most profitable pharmaceutical ever.
Problem is, statins can cause all sorts of bad things to happen to your body including the onset of type 2 diabetes, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease), liver failure, Alzheimer’s disease, and breast cancer.
Statins research has uncovered over three hundred negative health effects in the forty years that this type of drug has been used.
Given the Choice, High Cholesterol Doesn’t Seem so Bad.
So far this year, over one thousand lawsuits have been filed against the companies that made the statin drugs. It’s interesting that many published studies on the dangers of statins concede the significant risks of diabetes and other side effects but waive those by stating that the risk of cardiovascular incidents/disease outweigh the risks of potential side effects.
Should that not be for the patient to say? If risk of heart disease and elevated cholesterol levels are a serious health concern, wouldn’t it be more prudent to pursue drastic but long-term lifestyle changes to manage the problems? Not if you’re a member of either Big Pharma or Big Medicine.
One Hundred Forty Billion Dollars is a Fat Lot o’ Cash.
Alberto Donzelli, the head of Milan Healthcare (the public health authority), was issued a “cease and desist” order after he advised general practitioners in Italy against prescribing one of Merck Sharp and Dohme’s statin-similar cholesterol-lowering drug.
The British Medical Journal retracted statements in studies published in 2013 that linked statins with adverse side effects in 18-20% of people taking them, including liver disease and kidney problems. The entire articles are now under review and may be withdrawn–because it’s bad press:
“This editorial aims to alert readers, the media, and the public to the withdrawal of these statements so that patients who could benefit from statins are not wrongly deterred from starting or continuing treatment because of exaggerated concerns over side effects.”
Apparently, people who are suffering from these terrible side effects don’t think the concerns are exaggerated. Common sense tells us that if there were no foundation for their claims, no attorneys would agree to represent them.
Statins and the Cholesterol Myth
The whole premise of a statin-type drug may be ill-founded, with high cholesterol being identified as putting you at high risk of heart disease and stroke. Cholesterol is a naturally-occurring substance in your body and is absolutely critical for cell and hormone production.
For most people, if low-density lipoprotein (LDL, “bad” cholesterol–another misdirect) is high and out of balance, it’s either because that’s normal for the individual (assuming a healthy diet, weight, and lifestyle) or because weight is high, the diet consists of too much trans fat, sugar, and processed food, and there’s too much sitting.
Cooked tomato and watermelon work as well as statins–or better, since they won’t give you a life-threatening disease–in lowering cholesterol due to their antioxidant component lycopene.
Asparagus has been shown to help the liver eliminate excess cholesterol. Many people can readjust their cholesterol to healthy levels by improving their diets and activity levels.
Don’t Become a Statins Statistic.
Do your homework and ask the hard questions. Taking statins shouldn’t be your first resort.
-  http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f2610
-  http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)61190-8/abstract
-  http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g4441
-  http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g3306
-  http://downloads.hindawi.com