Consider an editorial that ran in the Los Angeles Times in November 2013, written in response to new recommendations from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology that urged up to one-third of all people in the United States to take statins.
The Los Angeles Times’ editorial page is a conventional media organ — as such, it is not prone to engage in hyperbole or conspiracy theory. However, the L.A. Times editorial staff had harsh words for these new recommendations: “The potent cholesterol-lowering medications, of which Lipitor is the most famous brand name…are associated with some difficult side effects, including most notably muscle pain. And once prescribed, they are generally taken for the rest of one’s life.”
The L.A. Times’ editorial staff continued: “The report was written by a panel of doctors appointed by [the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology]. Some critics have accused [the report] of pushing pills in ways that help the pharmaceutical industry…There’s little evidence, the panel concluded, that lowering LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, to one number for everybody saves any lives.”
Here is a question: if there is little evidence that lowering LDL cholesterol to one number saves lives, then why the fanatical push to lower everyone’s LDL numbers by means of expensive and permanent pharmaceutical measures?
The L.A. Times team also cited Marvin M. Lipman, Consumers Union’s Chief Medical Adviser, who noted: “There is a lack of hard evidence [that statins will prevent fatalities associated with heart disease] for people with a risk of less than 10%.” The panel’s online risk calculator was extremely flawed, the editorial board noted, and “would identify millions of people as ‘at risk’ [that is, as potential statin customers] when they’re not.”
Finally, the Times’ staff noted: “These are exactly the kinds of complicated issues that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force excels in examining. Before the nation embarks on a radical shift that could double the number of people taking statins, this independent, congressionally authorized group should deliver a second opinion.”
These criticisms are considerably more muted than other critiques this book has examined. But what do the most authoritative sources the scientific community say about the pros and cons of statins?
We will explore what elite researchers and authorities think about the statin debate in a subsequent post. For assistance with your potential Lipitor case, connect with lawyers at Davis & Crump now at 800-277-0300 for a free case evaluation.