Saturday, July 12, 2008

Big Pharma Strikes Again!

By Kate

Question: How does a multi-billion dollar industry increase profits?

Answer: Check out this gimmick ( from BBC News, May 27, 2008).

"New national guidelines in England and Wales will increase the number of adults prescribed cholesterol-lowering statin drugs by an estimated 1.5 million.

Under the latest recommendations, computer software would be used to pick out those aged 40 to 75 years who are considered to be at high risk. The risk assessment would take into account factors beyond high cholesterol, including age, sex, blood pressure, family history, ethnicity and whether or not they smoke. (So even if you have good cholesterol levels, if you have a family history of high cholesterol, for instance, you're a target of the drug companies.)

Those found to be at risk will be invited to have their risk double-checked, then be given lifestyle advice and offered a prescription for simvastatin, a statin drug. (How harmless it sounds).

About 4 million people in England and Wales are already taking statins. The additional drugs will cost 35 million British pounds ($69 million) annually."

And guess who will benefit? Not the millions of people who may not need anything but a diet adjustment, but who will, however, suffer the side effects of the statins.

And have you noticed how the "safe" levels for cholesterol, both HDL (the good) and LDL (the bad) keep getting lower? Guess who benefits there, too? Drug companies. And guess what happens when you lower your cholesterol too much (to those "safe" new levels)? Without an adequate supply of cholesterol, your body can't make hormones. And without the right level of hormones, you are ripe for cancer, among a host of other ailments. When was the last time your doctor told you about lowering your LDL too much? How about never?

Doctors have been so conditioned by the pharmaceutical industry to believe that "the lower the better" when it comes to LDL, that they don't even know the dangers of those low levels they're pushing us towards. So, as always, it falls to us to do our research, to be smart patients, to question everything, and to make sure we don't put any drug in our mouth unless it's our last alternative. The body wants to be healthy. Give it nutritous food, sunshine, and exercise, and it will try its best to stay that way.

Have a great week,