Everybody knows that money taints politics, but few understand just how powerfully it can impact “scientific” findings and organizations we might otherwise count on to help us. A recent study of more than 2 million statin users showed that statins harm more people than they help. The whole nature of cholesterol – its biological purpose, makeup, and the calibrations and mechanisms used to measure it, are all open-book subjects of debate for anyone who can find an hour to study the subject for herself. Nevertheless, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) recently released new cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines that trumpet the wonders of statins and recommend them to an additional 13.6 million people not yet popping them daily.
Big Pharma Profits Guide Treatments
Barbara Roberts, MD, and Martha Rosenberg have published an excellent article that follows the money to show how the AHA and ACC serve their corporate benefactors rather than people. They write that the new guidelines, “are an egregious example of much that is wrong with medicine today.”
Those new guidelines recommend that 13.6 million people – according to Harvard Medical School lecturer John Abramson – who would not have been recommended statins as part of the 2001 guidelines, should now take them daily in moderate to high doses. That beaks down to about 44 percent of men and 22 percent of women 40-75.
The AHA maintains nonprofit organization status with its stated mission to “build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke,” but in its 2011-2012 financial statement the AHA noted $521 million in donations from non-government and non-membership sources such as many multi-national drug companies, including (wait for it) those who make and market statins.
AHA Conflict of Interest
Martha Rosenberg reports financial ties between multi-national drug companies and AHA are numerous and lucrative for AHA. It has received monster donations from Abbott, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), Eli Lilly, Merck and Pfizer. BMS, Merck and Pfizer also act as major funders for AHA’s ‘Go Red For Women’ heart disease awareness campaign. AHA’s web site gushes, “If your doctor has placed you on statin therapy to reduce your cholesterol, you can rest easy–the benefits outweigh the risks.” The site also promotes its benefactors’ products directly: “Zocor and Pravachol–have the fewest side effects.” Zocor is made by Merck (imagine that) and Pravachol by BMS. The AHA site further promotes statins generally with this highly questionable soft warnings: “[s]tatins may only slightly increase diabetes risks.”
Rosenberg further reports that a study of more than 160,000 in a Women’s Health Initiative project showed that a healthy woman on a statin increased her risk of developing diabetes by 48 percent compared to women who were not on a statin. That figure stands in stark contrast to what statin promoters claim about statins increasing diabetes risk only in people who are at high risk of developing it anyway – such as those suffering from obesity. Women on statins in the Women’s Health Initiative who were of normal weight increased their risk of diabetes 89 percent compared to the same weight women not taking a statin.
Any woman who has taken a statin and has consequently developed diabetes may have a legal claim against the manufacturer. If you or someone you love developed diabetes after taking a statin drug, contact Matthews & Associates for a free legal consultation regarding a potential Lipitor Lawsuit.