Tag: statins

Statins: attacks on doctors reveal ‘smoking guns’ on side effects?

UPDATED 17/03 WITH COMMENT AND BACKGROUND

By Marika Sboros

Is there really “a special place in hell for doctors who claim statins don’t work“? The UK Mail on Sunday health editor Barney Calman believes so. Or at least, that’s the headline to his opinion piece the newspaper published in March.

Calman also believes that some eminent medical doctors and researchers are “statin deniers” who peddle “deadly propaganda”. They are “putting patients at risk”, he writes.

Prof Sherif Sultan, president of the International Vascular Institute, vigorously disagrees. Sultan is also professor of vascular and endovascular surgery at the National University of Ireland Galway. Sultan joins other experts who see “smoking guns”  in media attacks on statin critics. They see these attacks as industry and medical establishment attempts to downplay growing evidence on seriousness of statins side effects.

He has said that Calman’s articles are defamatory and propaganda – and the Mail on Sunday acted “negligently” in publishing them. Sultan has called for an investigation into publication of the articles.

“Calman must declare his conflict of interest and publish who instructed him to write such unscientific articles and after what editorial meeting,” Sultan has written.

 



Malhotra takes aim at heart of media statin support

By Marika Sboros

The Guardian newspaper in the UK has been haemorrhaging readers for years.

The newspaper’s recent uncritical support for medical orthodoxy and dogma around diet, nutrition, drugs and cardiovascular disease hasn’t helped. Its treatment of ongoing controversy around cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins is raising red ethical flags.

Britain’s leading cardiologists, Dr Aseem Malhotra, is demanding that The Guardian retract its online article by health editor Sarah Boseley. Under the headline Butter nonsense: rise of the cholesterol deniers, it aims right at the heart of Malhotra’s credibility and professional integrity.

Malhotra has lodged a written complaint with The Guardian’s editor in chief, Katharine Viner. He has included the UK’s Independent Press Standards Organisation’s Board and Complaints Committee.



STATINS REVIVAL: PACT WITH DEVIL OR DRUG INDUSTRY?

By Marika Sboros

If you think robust evidence of serious health risks has dealt a terminal blow to the billion-dollar statin industry’s heart, think again. Statins are still the world’s most prescribed drug and the drug industry’s most profitable medicine ever.

In a new meta-analysis in The Lancet, UK scientists attempt CPR on the drug’s ailing reputation. They want doctors to prescribe statins to more people over 75. They say that doing so will save 8000 lives annually. (That’s after some experts calling for doctors to put just about everyone, including children, on the drugs.) The authors also claim that statins produce “significant reductions in vascular events (heart attack and stroke) irrespective of age”.

Independent researchers say those are false claims and the study is riddled with terminal errors. They also say the authors remain hopelessly conflicted with long-term links with drug companies. 



Really! Statins side effects all in the mind?

By Marika Sboros

Are cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins really just victims of vested interests’ propaganda?

In the Lancet, UK researchers say that most people imagine the negative side-effects of statins. Co-authors are Prof Peter Sever, of Imperial College, London and Prof Sir Rory Collins of Oxford University.

Scottish GP Dr Malcom Kendrick sees things differently. Kendrick has a special interest in cardiovascular disease. In his latest blog post, he takes what he calls a ‘pretty forensic look’ at the Lancet study. From a scientific perspective, it is anything but pretty. 



Statins insanity: Sir Prof Collins of Statinshire at helm

Photo credit: Phinzup via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Doctors, with UK professor Sir Rory Collins at the helm, say we should all pop statins like smarties. Even if our tickers are ticking along very nicely.

Others say that’s unadulterated, mad-scientist nuttiness. South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes calls statins ‘the single most ineffective drug ever invented’. 

Here, UK blogger Nick Mailer deconstructs the man he calls  ‘Collins of Statinshire’. It’s a fascinating, considered read – and harsh for good reason. Collins is his own worst enemy in the harsh way he deals with criticism from peers.  – Marika Sboros



Don’t just swallow what doctors say on statins: Kosterich

Photo credit: psyberartist via Foter.com / CC BY

Statins are blockbuster drugs that make billions for pharmaceutical companies. Research shows these drugs do little to make patients’ lives longer or better. Read The Truth About Statins by Dr Barbara Roberts, for another view.

Here, Australian physician Dr Joe Kosterich looks at conflicting research in two  British medical journals, He says it is confusing enough for doctors, never mind patients.

Kosterich calls for patients to do research, question what their doctors say about statins, and not just to swallow any prescription whole. I second that. – Marika Sboros



Statins insanity: doctors hand over to drug companies

drugsWhat’s with all this wilful blindness in top doctors globally about the risks of statins? After all, evidence shows these blockbusters drugs are not effective for cardiovascular prevention. Claims about statins’ efficacy and safety are simply not evidence-based.

Oxford University’s statins researcher Prof Rory Collins appears oblivious to that. It’s as if he genuinely doesn’t know these drugs have done more for drug makers’ profits than patients’ wellbeing. British journalist Jerome Burne says Collins belongs to the ‘never apologise, never explain’ school of argument. Here, Burne explains the ‘bizarre history’. of statins. And just why it took 30 years for the increased risk of diabetes with statin use to emerge. It’s a brilliant read about the antics of drug companies and doctors in their thrall. – Marika Sboros



Statins study? 21st century medical censorship, says Kendrick

By Dasemarcalvarez (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Scottish GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick starts off his post on the latest statins controversy with a great George Orwell quote: ‘If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.’ Kendrick is author of The Great Cholesterol Con. He is scathing about the latest research on statins published in The Lancet. Lead author is Sir Rory Collins, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Oxford University’s Clinical Trial Service Unit.



Statins: more evidence on mad waste of time, money

statinsBy Marika Sboros

Cardiologists have said it for years. New Israeli research backs it up: millions of people globally take powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs they don’t need.

Statins are blockbuster drugs to lower cholesterol. They are the world’s most prescribed medicine ever. They make billions for drug companies. 

Some doctors say statins are life-saving. They already prescribe the drugs to millions around the world. They want more, otherwise healthy people to take them daily.  Other doctors say that’s “statin insanity”. They say guidelines on statin use need radical revision.The Israeli-led  multi-centre study published in the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Internal Medicine supports that view. Here’s why:



HYMAN ON A REAL ‘DRUG’ TO CURE HEART DISEASE

heart diseasePsst! Want to know a secret cure for heart disease? Better still, a way to prevent it In the first place? Cardiologists around the world still prescribe statin drugs as if these were smarties. Some, like Prof Rory Collins in Britain, have said everyone over 50 should be on statins, even if they don’t have any signs of heart disease whatsoever. It’s as if these doctors  really do believe that heart disease is caused by a deficiency of statins. In my humble opinion, that’s not just nuts, it’s dangerous. In this video, US physician, scholar and best-selling author Dr Mark Hyman gets to the heart of the matter to reveal what he believes is the real ‘drug’ to treat your ticker. Spoiler alert: it’s not really a ‘drug’. Hyman practices what is called ‘functional’ medicine. That is, medicine that works and aims first to ‘do no harm’. Hyman says even if you have a family history of heart disease “genes are not destiny” and … 



Statins: mad, bad world of cholesterol drugs

Statin drugsARE you taking statins? Should you take them? Some doctors want everyone over 50 to take them, even if they have no signs of heart disease whatsoever. Others, among them Scottish GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick (author of The Great Cholesterol Con), say that’s just madness.

University of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes calls statins “the single most ineffective drug ever invented”. Statins are the most prescribed and most profitable drug in medical history. Here’s what doctors say about that and ‘new-generation’ statins lurking in the wings.

By Marika Sboros

Welcome to  “statin insanity” – the extraordinary world of  blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drugs: