Skip to comments.Risks Seen in Cholesterol Drug Use in Healthy People
Posted on 04/01/2010 12:39:30 AM PDT by neverdem
With the governments blessing, a drug giant is about to expand the market for its blockbuster cholesterol medication Crestor to a new category of customers: as a preventive measure for millions of people who do not have cholesterol problems...
But critics said the claim of cutting heart disease risk in half repeated in news reports nationwide may have misled some doctors and consumers because the patients were so healthy that they had little risk to begin with.
The rate of heart attacks, for example, was 0.37 percent, or 68 patients out of 8,901 who took a sugar pill. Among the Crestor patients it was 0.17 percent, or 31 patients. That 55 percent relative difference between the two groups translates to only 0.2 percentage points in absolute terms or 2 people out of 1,000.
Stated another way, 500 people would need to be treated with Crestor for a year to avoid one usually survivable heart attack. Stroke numbers were similar.
Thats statistically significant but not clinically significant, said Dr. Steven W. Seiden, a cardiologist in Rockville Centre, N.Y., who is one of many practicing cardiologists closely following the issue. At $3.50 a pill, the cost of prescribing Crestor to 500 people for a year would be $638,000 to prevent one heart attack.
Is it worth it? AstraZeneca and the F.D.A. have concluded it is.
The benefit is vanishingly small, Dr. Seiden said. It just turns a lot of healthy people into patients and commits them to a lifetime of medication.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
...It just turns a lot of healthy people into patients and commits them to a lifetime of medication....
Not to mention that unintended consequences, perhaps tragic, will certainly occur, even years later. Just remember that a little poison exists in all medicine and a lot of poison exists in some.
The best drug in the world for a pharmaceutical company is one that you have to take for the rest of your life. Preventative medicine is money in the bank.
And if you can get the Government to finance it for the customers, so much the better. It’s the pot at the end of the rainbow.
Statin drugs are generally safe and they do what they are advertised to do.
With that being said, My father was taking a statin drug and now has permanent leg and hip damage from it and will probably have to start using a wheelchair to get around. He no longer takes it, by the way. My brother was taking a statin drug and he developed some side effects. The nature of which he did not divulge to me. All I know is his Dr. took him off of he drug and said “never again”.
So with a family history being shown, I no longer take a statin either. Instead I do more physical labor than I used to. Eat better and healthier and I am doing fine so far.
So Statin drugs can help but like all drugs need to be monitored quite carefully.
It would only make sense when the patents expire and prices decrease.
Results 1 - 100 of about 1,820,000 for crestor cramps fatigue depression.
You have to be nuts or high risk to take these things!
It just about destroyed my neighbour and he was only put on it when they lowered the cholesterol threshold. He’s much better after stopping but the recovery to normal is slow.
I’d think that getting all 500 people to take vitamins daily would do as much good.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
I’ve had bad experience with Crestor!
My thighs ached so badly that I was walking like an old man!
Once I was off it, it took 6 months to return to near normal!
Never again will I go on any statin medication! They’re dangerous!
Now, I am a physician, and I understand EXACTLY what the 'numbers crunchers' are saying.
All these numbers aside however, the one thing that bothers ME is that I really don't care what the numbers say, if someone wants to decide that THEY want to bear that cost to lower their risk by whatever amount the medicine provides.
The 'numbers needed to treat' and 'cost to save a life' stuff matters ONLY to those paying that cost; of course, if it's the government paying, they will use this type of data to restrict access...and that is plain wrong.
And for every person like you that has muscle problems with statins, there are thousands that do not, and they get a certain benefit.
Don’t tolerate it or don’t like it? Don’t take it.
But don’t miss the big point here...the ‘numbers crunchers’ won’t allow it to be used until it is proven efficacious in a cost analysis to THOSE THAT ARE PAYING.
If an individual wants to bear the cost, they should be allowed to...but then again, that would make some ‘unequal’ to others and the government will have none of it.