Trust me I’m a doctor has become a knowing, cynical catch-phrase but the underlying truth is that we do need to trust our doctors, not only because trusted doctors exert a beneficial healing effect but also because we are entrusting them with something precious – our health.
Post Tagged with: "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.
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.
Last month two new cholesterol lowering drugs stepped into the limelight at AHA’s (American Heart Association) annual conference. Neither is likely to make it to market until the end of next year but soon after that they are likely to be coming to a doctor’s surgery near you.
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
Don’t prescribe statins to any more people. That’s the clear message from a strongly worded open letter to the head of NICE and to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt published today. If you groan at the prospect of yet more confusion over statins, this post might bring a bit of clarity. Please read on.
It’s the latest volley in long running battle about whether cholesterol lowering statins are a good way of cutting the risk of heart attack and death in virtually the entire population with vanishingly small number of effects or whether they don’t actually benefit most people and are quite likely to cause side effects that range from the unpleasant to the deadly.(Read more…)
Last week I was called by a friend who opened the conversation by saying: “So you were wrong about statins.” He was referring to the correction that the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has had to make in two papers that claimed statins have a high level of side effects. But I certainly haven’t recanted and started popping those pills.
Given the huge amount of attention this has attracted, the actual point being “corrected” is remarkably small. It is the kind of thing that would normally be dealt with by publishing a response to the article in the journal. I’ll come to the specifics in a moment but first a bit of context…. (Read more…)