This is a guest post of an article by Francois Lubbe, editor for The HealthierLife, which originally appeared at:
I am very grateful to Francois for permission to publish here.
Recently, Dr. John Briffa, contributing editor for The Cholesterol Truth blog,(1) wrote an article about how pro-statin doctors have gone on the offensive against other mainstream medical experts who have expressed concerns about the effectiveness of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, their harmful side effects and the over-prescription of these drugs (2).
The heat is on
If you ask me, it looks like the statin camp is dividing fast — those against and those in favour — and chances are, things are going to get pretty heated.
It’s about time.
Recently, mainstream medical experts wrote a letter, reported widely in the press, in which they detailed objections about the mass-medicalization of millions of healthy individuals with statins. They also highlighted the unreliability of the evidence regarding the adverse effects of statins and the fact that almost all the evidence supporting statin drugs is industry-funded (and therefore liable to bias). Another source of bias is the fact that multiple conflicts of interest exist on the ‘expert committee’ that decides on the prescription guidelines of statin drugs. If you want to read more about this, see ref (3).
These are serious concerns and should not be taken lightly.
As expected, the pro-statin zealots (and those probably benefiting the most from these drugs being pushed) published their counter argument in the BMJ (British Medical Journal), a few weeks ago. See also (4,5).>
Among the objecting medical experts were Professor Sir Rory Collins, head of the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists collaboration, and Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation. (I can already see why they would object vehemently.)
Professor Collins said that “misrepresenting the evidence” will have a negative impact on people who are at high risk of cardiac events. He also added that rates of myopathy — one of the most reported and most damaging side effects of satins resulting in severe muscle loss and fatigue — are much lower than some people state. As Dr. Briffa states on his blog post in response to Prof. Collins’ comment: “His definition of myopathy appears to be pinned to quite extreme muscle damage, levels of the enzyme used to assess muscle damage (creatinine kinase) are at least 10 times the upper limit of normal. Are we to assume that Professor Sir Rory Collins is disinterested unless muscles are in near-meltdown?”
Professor Weissberg simply said that “…the critics are wrong. They’ve retracted, they’re wrong.” In fact, the retraction Prof. Weissberg refers to, was the misleading representation of statin side-effects, reported in one single piece of research. That certainly has been retracted… the other major objections against statins still stand firm. To read Dr. Briffa’s complete article see ref (6)
Let’s face it, the statin pushers and the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing these drugs have an awful lot to protect… because if their bubble bursts and the truth comes out, not only will they lose a multi-billion cash cow, but their reputations will also be tarnished and they will have to answer to an awful lot of patients who have been negatively affected by these drugs.
One person, who’s already looking for answers, is one of our dedicated readers who left the following comment on our Facebook Fanpage, The Healthier Life:
“…My muscles did melt down and I would like Professor Sir Rory Collins and Professor Peter Weissberg to physically examine me and see for themselves the damage Lipitor/statins has done to my muscles. The muscle wasting in my neck, shoulders, arms/wrists and legs/ankles/feet are clear to see and I have photos taken in 2008 to prove it. The photos also show severe skin damage: thinning, drying and bleeding of the skin. Most doctors are in denial and turn a blind eye to the statin horrors unfolding. And most fail to report ADRs to the MHRA so the statistics held are unreliable.
- Why has the NHS [UK National Health Service] covered up the life-threatening statin-induced adverse reaction that I reported on 6 March 2008 when this dangerous drug was stopped? I had taken the drug for 2 years (long term) but it was too late; the damage was done. I have been abandoned by the NHS and left alone to cope with the irreversible serious side effects. It is cruel and inhumane.
- Why have I been stonewalled since receiving a letter dated 8 April 2013 from the ICO [Information Commissioner’s Office] in response to my request for an investigation into why the Department of Health and the Home Office will not release to me a copy of the test results of an animal statin drug trial on 145 rats “Statin effects on heart and muscle/Home Office” that took place from 2006-2011?
Until I get answers to these questions and a diagnosis of my drug-induced injuries the public cannot believe a word either of these ‘medical experts’ say. I have been struck off 4 GP practices altogether to keep a lid on this medical horror story/scandal.[The] Ethics and morality, as a code of practice by which to follow in the workplace, no longer applies to the NHS. What sort of health service and society is this in which corruption rules OK? Collins and Weissberg need to invest in a copy of Ethics For The Real World P.19, authors Ronald A Howard and Clinton D Korver, Harvard Business Press…”(7)
Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
Of course, this reader is just one of the millions (no exaggeration) who have been affected by these dangerous and side effect ridden drugs.
So, it looks like the heat is on and like we’ve said many times before, statin drugs might just prove to be the biggest pharmaceutical scandal in history.
… and another thing
Still on the topic of statin drugs…
Most of our readers have heard all the cholesterol-lowering statin drug horror stories, but maybe you’re new to the train wreck of statin therapy. If so, I’ll recap on just three of the most troubling adverse effects linked to statins…
- Statins may increase risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Statins may cause muscle damage.
- Statins may deplete CoQ10, the antioxidant that’s indispensable to heart health.
I could add to this list and mention increased risk of cataracts, cognitive impairment, kidney failure, liver dysfunction and depression.
Sorry. I couldn’t resist.
Until next time,
- Ronald A. Howard and Clinton D. Korver (2008) “Ethics for the Real World: Creating a Personal Code to Guide Decisons in Work and Life.” Harvard Business Press