Part 1


The debate over the efficacy of (and potential dangers of) Lipitor and other statins is, if nothing else, sprawling. It touches on issues of endocrinology, metabolism, cardiology, biochemistry, nutrition, and lipidology. Some people spend literally decades researching the primary science. Journalist Gary Taubes, for instance, researched and interviewed experts for eight years before he wrote his epic analysis of the modern diet/health landscape, Good Calories, Bad Calories.


But it is impossible even for very smart, well-educated people to understand all these complicated topics — lipidology, diabetology, cardiology, etc — at a level of sufficient depth. This would be true, even if the science were totally settled, and if there were no controversies about statins or about the relationship between cholesterol and health.


Patients (and even doctors) thus generally default to the conventional medical wisdom because they trust that the opinion of the consensus must be “close enough” to the truth for government work.


Many people might expect a drug company like Pfizer to “undersell” the potential dangers of statins that bring in billions of dollars in revenue every year. However, people are far more inclined to trust seemingly objective adjudicators, like the FDA, the USDA, and the American Heart Association. People are also inclined to trust mainstream journalistic organizations, like WebMD.


But when people read that, for instance, Pfizer sponsors WebMD; suddenly, WebMD’s article on the potential dangers of statins does not seem so “journalistic” anymore. Furthermore, how come consumer protection agencies, like the FDA, have behaved so sluggishly in sounding the alarm about (for instance) the statin-generated risks of Type 2 diabetes? What are conscientious, health-conscious people suppose to do, when seemingly neutral arbiters turn out to be anything but neutral?


All that said, it is equally important not to go a bridge too far. The pharmaceutical industry has generated a fair amount of rotten science, Machiavellian chicanery and sheer boneheadedness. And many science journalists and physicians who have analyzed this topic have also been led astray. But that does not mean that the critics of these entities are right, either. In other words, you need to be equally cautious of outlandish claims about the “true” causes and remedies for heart disease put forward by alternative sources.


The attorneys at Davis & Crump are available to speak about your Lipitor case. Connect with us now at 800-277-0300 for a free consultation.