statins

Massive statin trial that aims to silence all the critics. The iron fist in an evidence-based glove.

23 by / on 13 Sep 2016, / in statins

Last week a massive piece of research extolling the benefits of statins was published in the Lancet. Its headline message was that the benefits of statins are hugely underestimated and far outweigh any harm. It had found that only 2 people per hundred suffer side effects while 15 people per hundred avoid strokes and heart attacks.

It came garlanded with the full majesty of the medical profession. Thirty pages long with 28 authors, 300 references and a declaration of interests that filled 44 lines of small type and mentioned more than 20 of the largest pharmaceutical companies. This juggernaut was designed to bury the widely publicised doubts about the effectiveness and safety of these drugs already prescribed to 6 million people.

How senior medics use strong arm tactics to close down the debate on statin side effects

11 by / on 12 Jul 2016, / in statins

One of the alarming and intriguing things about the cholesterol lowering drugs statins is the vigour and ferocity with which supporters defend them. It’s alarming because it makes it almost impossible for both doctors and patients to get accurate information about their risks and benefits. Intriguing because it is so unscientific.

Companies clash over statin side effects. Which is lying?

17 by / on 4 Apr 2016, / in statins

The complicated and confusing debate about statins – are they worth taking or not; are they safe or do they have nasty side effect? – has suddenly plunged into anarchic and uncharted territory by the claims of a new rival drug.

Why heart doctors will soon get fooled again

5 by / on 17 Nov 2015, / in statins

That old adage ‘Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me’ looks like a perfect description of why the heart disease establishment should be hanging its collective head. Having totally bought into one cholesterol-lowering class of drug – statins – it now looks ready to open its arms and pockets equally wide to embrace a new improved more powerful son of statin drug – the PCSK9 inhibitors – that will drive that deadly fatty stuff right to the floor.

Statin cheerleader Sir Rory Collins plans to examine himself. It could prove painful

32 by / on 22 Jul 2015, / in statins

Professor Sir Rory Collins, the austere director of the institute in Oxford that produce much of the evidence supporting the increasing use of cholesterol –lowering statins, is in hot water once more. Last week he declared that he intended to investigate himself.

Keep statin supremo away from the missing side-effect data

30 by / on 19 Feb 2015, / in statins

The statin saga – do they help or harm? – took a fascinating new turn on Sunday when statin supremo Professor Sir Rory Collins confessed to the Express that he hadn’t actually done the analysis needed to uncover the true side-effect rate.

If you’ve been following this pharmacological soap, your response when you heard this was probably first amazed laughter, followed by outrage at the breath-taking hypocrisy and then, after a brief reflection, alarm at the implications.

Statin wars: You thought it was about the evidence – Chief Scientific Advisor says you’re wrong

1 by / on 22 Oct 2014, / in evidence based medicine, statins

Regular readers of the “Statin Wars” soap that we’ve been following here for several months will be eager to know the result of the survey sent to members of the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) last month. (Read More…)

Statin wars: New episode. The Empire Strikes back

1 by / on 5 Oct 2014, / in statins

If you aren’t confused about what is going on with statins then you haven’t been paying attention. As an example of just how convoluted it’s getting, take the email forwarded to me last week that had gone to members of the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) asking them to fill in a short survey about any patients who had stopped taking statins… (Read More…)

Statin flash: 10 reasons to say no + statistical fiddling spotted

10 by / on 14 Sep 2014, / in statins

Arriving at the debate on statins run by the Guild of Health Writers last week , I was very amused to discover that the redoubtable Professor Sir Rory Collins, arch champion of statins for-all and hammer of the BMJ, had declined to appear when told that indefatigable statin critic Dr Malcolm Kendrick, was speaking . Perhaps he’s realised his style of steamrollering critics is a PR disaster. … (Read More…)

Five worrying questions about statins

12 by / on 18 Jul 2014, / in statins

So several million more people are going to be prescribed statins but the vigorous campaign to inject some sanity into statin use has bought into sharp focus the conflict of interests at the heart of our health system.

One is whether the risks of these drugs when taken by healthy people actually outweigh the benefit? What we do know is that the only data on this comes from the manufacturers themselves. Think banks being the sole source of information about payment protection insurance or relying entirely on energy company data to choose the best tariff. (Read More…)

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