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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Health Care - get it under control

Some how this bit of news doesn't surprise me .... the FDA has approved the use of the drug Crestor in healthy people ... for those who don't know, Crestor is a statin which is meant to help lower blood cholesterol.

yes - you read that right the FDA is allowing medicine to be prescribed for people who don't really need it.

But we aren't talking just anyone ... they have to pass a screening test for type "C" proteins (don't ask me, its what was reported) .... but this means that people will have to pay for a new blood test when they get their physicals even if they don't show any other symptoms of needing help to lower their blood fat.

Okay - so who will it help? The FDA is sighting a study that said that in 500 people who tested positive for the C-protein, 1 was prevented from having a heart attack. so 1 out of 500 will be helped (kind of).

But this is the yearly number ... after 5 years the study showed that out of those 25 who did have a heart attack within the first few years of the study, only one had a second occurrence.

pretty slim numbers in my mind ... and some dastardly side-effects. Statins play havoc with the liver ... if the beginning issues aren't caught right away and the person taken off Crestor, they could lose the function of their liver all together.

So why do I say this needs to get under control? Because of who conducted the study.

The experiment was conducted by the man who invented the test for the C-protein ... this means he is going to make money on every test ran -- which will be just about anyone to see if they qualify for the use of Crestor without other factors.

The study was paid for by Astor-Seneca which owns the patents on Crestor. They earn something like $4.3 Billion/yr from the drug now and will be adding, potentially, 5 million more people per year to their ca-ching rolls.

It will also mean that since there is a 'new' use for Crestor that it stays off the Generic recipe lists of pharmacies across the nation, possibly the world - I don't know how that works ... but that will allow Aster-Seneca to charge whatever they feel the market will bear.

And with this being allowed by the Federal Drug Administration ... you know that tax-payer money will be used to pay for the drugs -- and I have a feeling that it won't be long before we hear of lethal side-effects from the drug being used in 'normal' people who have no real need for it.

And then there is the concern of the lack of research being done on what prolonged used of drugs in our bodies that we don't need will have on the body. Will using a drug which attacks cholesterol then prevent our bodies from being able to preform this task on its own as it would normally do?

These are things that really have to be looked at before doctors jump on this bandwagon!

mean while ...

cha-ching!

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