Cholesterol Medications For The Healthy?
By Dr. Matthew McAlees
Last month the government gave its blessing for drug makers to expand their use of cholesterol medications to people who do not have cholesterol problems. Many health experts question the move and whether or not it will be the next medical disaster like Vioxx or Avandia.
Statins are already the most widely used drug in the United States and may not be as safe as preventative measure. Even the experts are admitting the benefits do not outweigh the risks. Just one of the increased risks is that statins can raise a persons’ chance of developing Type II diabetes by 9 percent.
“It’s a good thing to be skeptical about whether there may be long-term harm from healthy people taking a drug like this,” said Dr. Mark A. Hlatky, a professor of health research and cardiovascular medicine at the Stanford University medical school.
So how does the benefit stack up? According to the study, 500 people would need to be treated with Crestor for a year to avoid one usually survivable heart attack. Stroke numbers were similar.
“That’s statistically significant but not clinically significant,” said Dr. Steven W. Seiden, a cardiologist in Rockville Centre, N.Y., who is one of many practicing cardiologists closely following the issue. At $3.50 a pill, the cost of prescribing Crestor to 500 people for a year would be $638,000 to prevent one heart attack.
We should always be asking what is the better option is. In this case making sure the patient is eating right, exercising and getting adjusted so their body is working and healing at 100% is the better and far less costly option. Furthermore proper nutrition, exercise and adjustments have no negative side effects!