Hide this
Previous Article Next Article
 

Lipitor Ads Spark Congressional Probe

January 31, 2008 | 43,928 views
Share This Article Share

pfizer, lipitor, statin drugs, expensive drugs, dangerous drugs

Lipitor has been running a series of ads in which a kindly "doctor," Robert Jarvik, inventor of the artificial heart, tells viewers about the benefits of the cholesterol-lowering medication Lipitor.

These ads, and their use of celebrity endorsers such as Jarvik, are now being investigated by Congress for potentially misleading viewers.

In the ads, Dr. Jarvik appears to be giving medical advice, but he has never obtained a license to practice or prescribe medicine.

Critics of the drug industry claim that such ads emotionally manipulate viewers and underemphasize the potential side effects of drugs.

The congressional probe focuses on the Lipitor ads, but will likely examine others, such as actress Sally Field‘s endorsement of the osteoporosis drug Boniva.

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Some 30 years ago, hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) was an affliction of middle-aged men with cholesterol over 300 plus other risk factors, such as smoking and obesity. Since then, the massive fear about this non-disease has been created largely by the drug companies. 

They have done this while simultaneously manipulating the definition of high cholesterol by controlling the government panels that are responsible for the definitions. This combination has led to absolutely spectacular profits of tens of billions of dollars, as their reward for their effective market manipulation.

By 1984 anyone (male or female) with cholesterol over 200 could receive the dreaded diagnosis and a prescription for pills. Then it was moved down to 180. Today, we’re down to recommended levels of less than 100 and drugs are prescribed to children as young as 10 years old.

This is Absolutely Insane!

I am always amazed by what these companies are able to get away with, but then again, perhaps it's not too surprising when you consider the costly involvement -- both in terms of lives and dollars -- of the U.S. in the Gulf War, which is forcing us into an inflationary recession.

Kind of makes the drug company manipulation resulting in tens of billions of dollars of profit, at the expense of hundreds of thousands of lives by not addressing the real causes, seem relatively insignificant in light of the bigger picture.

To top off the insanity, if you’ve had a heart attack, you get to take cholesterol-lowering medicines even if your cholesterol is already very low -- after all, if you had a heart attack your cholesterol must be “too high” at its current level, according to the prevailing theory.

But does anyone know whether the very low cholesterol levels currently recommended are actually beneficial?

No. In fact, there is no evidence to support their low target numbers, and, what's more, the combination of two or three statin drugs that patients can be prescribed to hit those targets will invariably do far more harm than good in the long run.

Pfizer in Legal Trouble Over Lipitor Again

This isn’t the first time Pfizer is in trouble over their fraudulent claims of what Lipitor can do for you. In 2005 they were sued by healthcare advocates for lying to women and seniors when they claimed Lipitor would reduce their risk of having a heart attack.

The group argued that the drug not only did not work, but that women who took Lipitor ran a 10 percent higher risk of heart attacks than those taking a placebo.

I don’t know the conclusion of that case, but it surely didn’t stop Pfizer from plowing forward with even more absurd claims, which the FDA bought hook line and sinker.

In 2005 Pfizer sold almost $11 billion worth of Lipitor, but after the FDA approved it for reducing stroke and heart attacks risks among diabetics their sales rose to $13 billion in 2006.

This is an unbelievable “oversight” by the FDA, in light of the fact that Lipitor can double the risk of a deadly stroke for diabetics!

Why Statins are Your WORST Option

Statins such as Lipitor are a particularly bad choice for diabetics, but they are a poor treatment even if your only worry is your heart health.

Now, statins do lower LDL (bad) cholesterol very well. The problem is they lower it too well, because cholesterol is still a necessary and natural chemical that your body needs. Cholesterol:

  • Waterproofs your cell walls
  • Helps repair cells
  • Is vital for digesting fats, regulating hormone levels, and neurological function

Despite cholesterol's infamous reputation, having too little of it in your body is as dangerous, if not more so, than too much. Therefore, the result of taking statin drugs can be numerous dangerous side effects, including:

  • Muscle pain and weakness (most likely due to the depletion of Co-Q10)
  • Dizziness and cognitive impairment,
  • Depression
  • Pancreatitis
  • Increased cancer risk
  • Heart failure

The last one is rather counter to the whole supposed point of cholesterol-lowering drugs, don't you think?

And there is this additional evidence that it more than doubles your risk of stroke if you are diabetic, in return for no benefits whatsoever -- unless you enjoy anything on this list; these are the possible consequences of taking statins in strong doses or for a lengthy period of time:

  • Depression of mental acuity
  • Anemia
  • Acidosis
  • Frequent fevers
  • Cataracts

What is Your Underlying Problem, and How Can You Treat THAT?

Make no mistake, Lipitor completely fails to treat the underlying problems causing your high levels of cholesterol. Statins are non-specific inhibitors of a number of very important liver enzymes, including the enzyme that causes your liver to make cholesterol when it is stimulated by high insulin levels.

A far more sensible treatment therefore, is to simply shut down the enzyme that makes cholesterol by reducing your insulin and leptin levels, which is the underlying cause of your high cholesterol. 

By eliminating sugar and most grains, you won’t cause this important enzyme to be blocked, and you also will not block other vital coenzymes such as CoQ10.

This is also exactly what you should be doing if you are diabetic.

To normalize your cholesterol level naturally, and keep your diabetes under control at the same time, these three primary strategies work well 99 percent of the time if properly implemented:

  • Exercise daily
  • Eat a low grain, low sugar diet
  • Take a high quality omega-3 supplement

The omega-3 fats in krill oil or fish oil will influence your HDL cholesterol levels far more safely and effectively than taking a pill -- and for a small fraction of the cost.

I must say I really got a kick out of Robert Jarvik’s public statement where he says in closing:  

“I am a medical scientist specializing in advanced technology to treat heart failure who understands that no one in his or her right mind would want  an artificial heart if it could be avoided with preventive medicine.” 

I didn’t say it was a good kick. 

To infer that statin drugs are somehow related to preventive medicine is again a grossly misleading statement. There is nothing preventive about these drugs; they do not fix any underlying health issues that might cause problems in the future. Instead they raise your risks of other serious health complications that might cost you your life far sooner than your high cholesterol might have.


[+] Sources and References