Sunday, November 9, 2008

A better life through chemicals.

NEW ORLEANS – People with low cholesterol and no big risk for heart disease dramatically lowered their chances of dying or having a heart attack if they took the cholesterol pill Crestor, a large study found. The results, reported Sunday at an American Heart Association conference, were hailed as a watershed event in heart disease prevention. Doctors said the study might lead as many as 7 million more Americans to consider taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, sold as Crestor, Lipitor, Zocor or in generic form.
If you're like me (egad) you wanted to know who financed the study. After all, "large studies" don't just grow on trees, do they? I had to scan way down the article (past where normal humans would read) and find:
AstraZeneca paid for the study, and Dr. Paul Ridker (leader of the study) and other authors have consulted for the company and other statin makers.
What a coincidence. Crestor costs $3.45 a day versus less than a dollar for generic drugs. That's $1,269.25 a year, likely paid for by your friendly health insurance company, because you sure as Hell can't afford it. By comparison, you can join a gym for about 20 bucks a month and buy a really nice bicycle for $550. But you'd rather take a pill, right?
U.S. Crestor prescriptions totaled $420 million in the third quarter of this year, up 23 percent from a year earlier. In the rest of the world, third quarter sales were $520 million, up 33 percent.

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