Panaceia or Hygeia

immunize yourself against the pandemic of lifestyle diseases

Posts Tagged ‘cholesterol’

Yves Bolduc – Minister of Health and Drug Salesman

Posted by Colin Rose on April 27, 2009

On learning that Quebec spends much more per capita on drugs than the Canadian average, Yves Bolduc, Quebec’s Minister of Health and Social Services, proclaimed that he wanted everyone to know that this was GOOD NEWS and that he was happy to see that Quebec was ahead of the other provinces. He added that in Quebec people take the drugs they need for their diseases while in the other provinces they don’t take the drugs they need and as a result their high blood pressure and cholesterol problem aren’t treated. He also thinks that spending more on drugs is economic because more drugs mean less is spent in other treatments.

Lets examine the Minister’s logic.

If Quebec is ahead of other provinces, in what respect is it ahead? Quebec has the same life expectancy as Ontario but less than British Columbia who spend much less on drugs. Nova Scotia which spends the most on drugs has one of the lowest life expectancies in Canada. So, there is no correlation between drug consumption and the best measure of overall health, life expectancy.

statcan-lifeexpectancyBolduc says that drugs are needed to treat high blood pressure and cholesterol. Not true. Lifestyle change is far more efficient and cheaper than drugs for treating these “diseases” that are in most cases just symptoms of self-destructive lifestyles. He wouldn’t dare say that all weaned citizens of Quebec should follow a low-fat Mediterranean type diet, eat no junk food and have a waist circumference less than half their height before even considering drugs for lifestyle diseases, like hypertension, diabetes and atherosclerosis. Political disaster. If he did so, the highways of Quebec would be instantly blockaded by pig and dairy farmers. All fast food franchise owners, restaurant owners, junk food producers, their employees and their families would never vote Liberal.

There is not  a shred of evidence that spending more on drugs for the diseases of lifestyle to which he refers translates into less spending on other treatment for these diseases.

So why does the Minister like more drug sales in Quebec and everywhere else? Maybe it’s because drug marketing is the largest industry on the west half of the island of Montreal where there are innumerable drug marketing agencies employing thousands of people funded by profits from Big Pharma. If you run a gigantic bureaucracy like the Ministry of Health and Social Services you need a lot of money and all that tax revenue from drug profits helps your Ministry to get bigger and bigger and gives you more power. So buying more drugs is a form of hidden taxation with no significant benefits in most cases. The Minister wouldn’t dare say that most of the expensive drugs are unnecessary and lifestyle change is essential. He would be reducing his own power and making a lot of voters on the West Island, a stronghold of Liberal power, very unhappy.

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Posted in cholesterol, death, drugs, statins | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Drug Marketing by “Study”

Posted by Colin Rose on December 13, 2008

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Posted in atherosclerosis, cardiology, cholesterol, drug marketing, professionalism, statins | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Disaster! Americans stop taking Lipitor.

Posted by Colin Rose on November 19, 2008

Well, I predicted many years ago that the exorbitant cost of drugs for lifestyle diseases would at some point destroy the cherished American ideal of unlimited consumption. It has happened a lot sooner than even I thought. The same attitude that powered the myth of free money and endless consumption of houses and goods is responsible for the myth of harmless gluttony while taking pills for “cholesterol”, hypertension and Type 2 diabetes, all, to a large extent, diseases of lifestyle.  Most of these drugs have never been shown to prolong life in the general population and should never have been prescribed in the first place. The same thing happens in Canada. I just saw a patient with normal blood sugar and normal “cholesterol” who was prescribed metformin and Lipitor “just in case”.

The profligate American lifestyle is undergoing a profound change. In the financial crunch It has finally dawned on a lot of people that they really don’t need those “cholesterol” pills, that they might be much better off if they just changed some of their greedy habits. In most cases it is not a choice between “meals and medication”. Less meals = less medication. Most Americans are eating far too much anyway.

Two-thirds of the US population is now overweight or obese, all “high risk” people on multiple drugs for treating the symptoms of inflammatory excess visceral fat. I predict we will witness a stabilization of amelioration of the pandemic of obesity and a marked drop in the costs of treating it’s complications, now about $75 billion per year in the US. It will be discovered anew that obesity is not genetic and one really doesn’t need a “gastric bypass” to lose weight. All you have to do is eat less.

You read it here first. Nothing like a financial collapse to cure gluttony.

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From the New York Times

nyt-drugs-financialcrisis

By STEPHANIE SAUL
Published: October 21, 2008

For the first time in at least a decade, the nation’s consumers are trying to get by on fewer prescription drugs.

As people around the country respond to financial and economic hard times by juggling the cost of necessities like groceries and housing, drugs are sometimes having to wait.

“People are having to choose between gas, meals and medication,” said Dr. James King, the chairman of the American Academy of Family Physicians, a national professional group. He also runs his own family practice in rural Selmer, Tenn.

“I’ve seen patients today who said they stopped taking their Lipitor, their cholesterol-lowering medicine, because they can’t afford it,” Dr. King said one recent morning.

“I have patients who have stopped taking their osteoporosis medication.”

On Tuesday, the drug giant Pfizer, which makes Lipitor, the world’s top-selling prescription medicine, said United States sales of that drug were down 13 percent in the third quarter of this year.

Through August of this year, the number of all prescriptions dispensed in the United States was lower than in the first eight months of last year, according to a recent analysis of data from IMS Health, a research firm that tracks prescriptions.

Although other forces are also in play, like safety concerns over some previously popular drugs and the transition of some prescription medications to over-the-counter sales, many doctors and other experts say consumer belt-tightening is a big factor in the prescription downturn.

The trend, if it continues, could have potentially profound implications.

If enough people try to save money by forgoing drugs, controllable conditions could escalate into major medical problems. That could eventually raise the nation’s total health care bill and lower the nation’s standard of living.

Martin Schwarzenberger, a 56-year-old accounting manager for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, is stretching out his prescriptions. Mr. Schwarzenberger, who has Type 1 diabetes, is not cutting his insulin, but has started scrimping on a variety of other medications he takes, including Lipitor.

“Don’t tell my wife, but if I have 30 days’ worth of pills, I’ll usually stretch those out to 35 or 40 days,” he said. “You’re trying to keep a house over your head and use your money to pay all your bills.”

Although the overall decline in prescriptions in the IMS Health data was less than 1 percent, it was the first downturn after more than a decade of steady increases in prescriptions, as new drugs came on the market and the population aged.

From 1997 to 2007, the number of prescriptions filled had increased 72 percent, to 3.8 billion last year. In the same period, the average number of prescriptions filled by each person in this country increased from 8.9 a year in 1997 to 12.6 in 2007.

Dr. Timothy Anderson, a Sanford C. Bernstein & Company pharmaceutical analyst who analyzed the IMS data and first reported the prescription downturn last week, said the declining volume was “most likely tied to a worsening economic environment.”

In some cases, the cutbacks might not hurt, according to Gerard F. Anderson, a health policy expert at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “A lot of people think there there’s probably over-prescribing in the United States,” Mr. Anderson said.

But for other patients, he said, “the prescription drug is a lifesaver, and they really can’t afford to stop it.”

Dr. Thomas J. Weida, a family physician in Hershey, Pa., said one of his patients ended up in the hospital because he was unable to afford insulin.

Not everyone simply stops taking their drugs.

“They’ll split pills, take their pills every other day, do a lot of things without conferring with their doctors,” said Jack Hoadley, a health policy analyst at Georgetown University.

“We’ve had focus groups with various populations,” Mr. Hoadley said. “They’ll look at four or five prescriptions and say, ‘This is the one I can do without.’ They’re not going to stop their pain medication because they’ll feel bad if they don’t take that. They’ll stop their statin for cholesterol because they don’t feel any different whether they take that or not.”

Overall spending in the United States for prescription drugs is still the highest in the world, an estimated $286.5 billion last year. But that number makes up only about 10 percent of this country’s total health expenditures of $2.26 trillion.

Pharmaceutical companies have long been among those arguing that drugs are a cost-effective way to stave off other, higher medical costs.

The recent prescription cutbacks come even as the drug industry was already heading toward the “generic cliff,” as it is known — an approaching period when a number of blockbuster drugs are scheduled to lose patent protection. That will be 2011 for Lipitor.

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Already, a migration to generic drugs means that 60 percent of prescriptions over all are filled by off-brand versions of drugs. But with money tight, even cheaper generic drugs may not always be affordable drugs.

Factors other than the economy that may also be at play in the prescription downturn include adverse publicity about some big-selling medications — like the cholesterol medications Zetia and Vytorin, marketed jointly by Merck and Schering-Plough. And sales of Zyrtec, a popular allergy medication, moved out of the prescription category earlier this year when Johnson & Johnson began selling it as an over-the-counter medication.

Diane M. Conmy, the director of market insights for IMS Health, said the drop in prescriptions might also be partly related to the higher out-of-pocket drug co-payments that insurers are asking consumers to pay.

“Some consumers are making decisions based on the fact that they are bearing more of the cost of medicines than they have in the past,” Ms. Conmy said.

The average co-payment for drugs on insurers’ “preferred” lists rose to $25 in 2007, from $15 in 2000, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit health care research organization. And, of course, lots of people have no drug insurance at all. That includes the estimated 47 million people in the United States with no form of health coverage, but it is also true for some people who have medical insurance that does not include drug coverage — a number for which no good data may exist.

For older Americans, the addition of Medicare drug coverage in 2006 through the Part D program has meant that 90 percent of Medicare-age people now have drug insurance. And in the early going, Part D had helped stimulate growth in the nation’s overall number of prescriptions, as patients who previously had no coverage flocked to Part D.

But a potential coverage gap in each recipient’s benefit each year — the so-called Part D doughnut hole — means that many Medicare patients are without coverage for part of the year.

The recent IMS Health figures reveal that prescription volume declined in June, in July and again in August, mirroring studies from last year suggesting that prescription use begins dropping at about the time more Medicare beneficiaries begin entering the doughnut hole.

Under this year’s rules, the doughnut hole opens when a patient’s total drug costs have reached $2,510, which counts the portion paid by Medicare as well as the patient’s own out-of-pocket deductibles and co-payments.

The beneficiary must then absorb 100 percent of the costs for the next $3,216, until total drug costs for the year have reached $5,726, when Medicare coverage resumes.

Gloria Wofford, 76, of Pittsburgh, said she recently stopped taking Provigil, prescribed for her problem of falling asleep during the day, because she could no longer afford it after she entered the Medicare doughnut hole.

Her Provigil had been costing $1,695 every three months. “I have no idea who could do it,” she said. “There’s no way I could handle that.”

Without the medication, Ms. Wofford said, she falls asleep while sitting at her computer during the day but then cannot sleep during the night. Because she feels she has no choice, Ms. Wofford is paying out of pocket to continue taking an expensive diabetes medication that costs more than $500 every three months.

For some other people, the boundaries of when and where to cut back are less distinct.

Lori Stewart of Champaign, Ill., is trying to decide whether to discontinue her mother’s Alzheimer’s medications, which seem to have only marginal benefit.

“The medication is $182 a month,” said Ms. Stewart, who recently wrote about the dilemma on her personal blog.

“It’s been a very agonizing decision for me. It is literally one-fifth of her income.”

Posted in addiction, cholesterol, diabetes, Type 2, diet, drugs, junk food, obesity, statins | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Disastrous Epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes in Children

Posted by Colin Rose on November 7, 2008

Many more children on medication, study says

‘Surprising’ rise targets diabetes, other obesity-related diseases

November 3, 2008

Baltimore Sun

Hundreds of thousands more children are taking medications for chronic diseases, with a huge spike over a four-year period in the number given drugs to treat conditions once seen primarily in adults and now linked to what has become an epidemic of childhood obesity.

In a study appearing today in the journal Pediatrics, researchers saw surges in the number of U.S. children taking prescription medicines for diabetes and asthma, with smaller increases in those taking drugs for high blood pressure or high cholesterol. All of those conditions, to varying degrees, have been associated with obesity.

Though doctors have been seeing the trend in their practices, “the rate of rise is what’s surprising,” said Dr. Donna R. Halloran, a pediatrician at St. Louis University in Missouri and one of the study’s authors.

The study found a doubling in the number of children taking medication for type 2 diabetes, with the largest increases seen among pre-teen and teenage girls. The number of asthma prescriptions was up nearly 47 percent.

The findings come from a study of 3 million privately insured children that was designed to be a nationally representative sample. The researchers used the sample to measure increases from 2002 to 2005 in the number of children taking various medicines but did not estimate how many youngsters nationally were on the medications.

There is nothing inherently wrong with giving medication to children with chronic diseases, doctors say, especially when the drugs are shown to be safe and effective. The increase in children receiving asthma medication appears to be partly because more children have asthma, but also because new guidelines recommend using medication in more cases.

The use of cholesterol medication for children appears to have become more accepted as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended last summer the use of statins to lower cholesterol in children as young as 8.

Meanwhile, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the number of children with type 2 diabetes is on the rise, but officials do not have estimates for how much. Type 2 diabetes, which used to be called adult-onset diabetes, begins when the body develops resistance to insulin and can no longer use it properly. Eventually, the body can no longer produce sufficient amounts of insulin to regulate blood sugar.

Still, there is an increasing unease in some circles that doctors are prescribing medication without exhausting nonpharmacological options.

“There are concerns that we’re moving too quickly to drug therapy,” said Emily R. Cox, a researcher at Express Scripts, a St. Louis-based pharmacy benefits management company, and lead author of the study. “We don’t know that drug therapy is best for some of these conditions.”

Cox and her colleagues looked at the rates of medication among children ages 5 to 19. They did not look at all medication use, but focused on drugs for high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, asthma, depression and attention-deficit disorders.

Since the study used figures from commercial insurance providers, it did not include the uninsured or those covered by programs for low-income children. Other studies have shown that the urban poor have some of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the United States.

According to the study, antidepressant use was essentially flat, though the numbers have gone down significantly among children under 10. Attention-deficit medication, the proper use of which has long been debated, rose 40 percent, with the largest increase among girls taking medicine for a set of disorders traditionally seen more in boys.

In raw numbers, the number of children on diabetes medication is relatively small, but the findings included one of the more surprising trends, a large number of girls on the drugs. The number of girls ages 10 to 14 on the medication rose 166 percent, and the figure for those ages 15 to 19 rose 133 percent.

One expert said those numbers cannot by accounted for by rises in child diabetes or by a secondary use of one of the drugs, metformin, to treat polycystic ovary syndrome.

“It’s definitely not due to a doubling of type 2 diabetes in children, because type 2 diabetes has not doubled in children and we have data on that,” said Dr. Silva Arslanian, an endocrinologist at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, who was not involved in the study.

She said overweight children regularly come into the hospital’s Weight Management and Wellness Center on metformin, having been told that they have diabetes, but tests of their blood sugar turn out normal. Arslanian said she believes that some doctors are using metformin, which can lead to appetite loss, as a diet pill – an “inappropriate” use.

“Management of obesity is very frustrating,” she said. “We talk about lifestyle changes, but how many of us are successful in changing lifestyle when the environment is so toxic? When you give somebody a medication, the psychology of the patient is, ‘The medication is doing the job, so I don’t need to change the way I’m eating or moving or drinking.'”

Dr. Debra R. Counts, head of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said she does not think that diabetes drugs are being improperly prescribed. She said more children are taking diabetes medication because more children have diabetes. And even though more boys are becoming obese than girls, she said, studies show that girls are more likely to develop diabetes.

“Most pediatricians try not to prescribe medication unless it’s indicated,” she said.

Another reason that more children are being given medications could be that more drugs have been approved for pediatric use in recent years. In the past, doctors in some cases had prescribed the drugs anyway, but many feel more confident now, knowing that proper studies have been done in children.

Medication is not by itself a solution in many cases, especially when it comes to diseases like type 2 diabetes and hypertension, which are most closely linked to obesity, doctors said. Lifestyle changes have to begin as early as possible, Counts said, sometimes even in toddler years.

She noted recent recommendations that overweight 1-year-olds be given low-fat milk as opposed to whole milk. Doctors used to believe that babies needed the fat in whole milk for their brains to properly develop and recommended whole milk until a child’s second birthday.

“We get a lot of kids referred to us. The problem is, we have no magic,” Counts said. “The whole family needs to eat healthier and get more active and turn off the TV. … By the time people are teenagers, it’s hard to change them.”

Posted in addiction, children, cholesterol, diabetes, Type 2, diet, drugs, moral hazard, obesity | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Heart Attack at Age 19

Posted by Colin Rose on October 15, 2008

Cherepanov is not the first young Russian athlete to die of atherosclerosis. Remember Sergei Grinkov? The Russian diet is highly atherogenic and Russia has one of the highest rates of death from coronary artery disease.

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In 1994 Gordeeva & Grinkov returned to Olympic competition and captured their second gold medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Oppland, Norway. After these Olympics, they returned once again to professional skating and took up residence in Simsbury, Connecticut. During the 1994-95 season, they toured, yet again, with Stars on Ice, this time as headliners. However, tragedy struck in November 1995, when Sergei Grinkov collapsed and died from a massive heart attack in Lake Placid, New York, while he and Ekaterina were practicing for their upcoming performance in the 1995-1996 Stars on Ice tour. Doctors found that Sergei had severely clogged coronary arteries (to the point where his arterial opening was reportedly the size of a pinhole), which caused the heart attack.

“In spite of the autopsy findings, he never sought medical attention for a cardiac problem,” said Pascal Goldschmidt associate professor of cardiology at Johns Hopkins. “His risk for premature coronary artery disease was very low; he was not a smoker, did not use drugs or medications, did not have high blood pressure or diabetes, had normal cholesterol and lipid levels and he trained several hours a day.”


NO AMBULANCE
BY MASON LEVINSON Bloomberg News, with files from Gennady Fyodorov and Natalia Sokhareva, Reuters
National Post
15 Oct 2008

Russian officials opened a probe into the death of New York Rangers? first-round pick Alexei Cherepanov, who collapsed on the bench during a Continental Hockey League game in Russia on Monday. Moscow regional investigator Yulia Zhukova said officials…read more…

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Pfizer abandons “cholesterol”

Posted by Colin Rose on October 1, 2008

After spending tens of $billions in DTC ads and bribes to doctors to terrorize the world into believing that blood “bad cholesterol” is the cause of atherosclerosis, the most common fatal disease, and selling hundreds of $billions worth of Lipitor to lower it, Pfizer has admitted there is no truth to and no more profit to be made from the myth of “dyslipidemia” that Pfizer and other peddlers of statin drugs created. Its much hyped drug, torceptripib, touted as the next Lipitor, which did all the “right” things to blood cholesterol actually worsened atherosclerosis in the ILLUSTRATE trial. Finally, the proof was in that high blood “bad cholesterol” is only a symptom of an atherogenic lifestyle, not the cause of atherosclerosis. But it will take a generation or two for the cholesterol myth to disappear.

So now Pfizer is directing more of its research toward Type 2 diabetes, a disease directly related to obesity, which is directly related to the moral hazard effect created by the cholesterol myth (I can eat anything as long as my cholesterol is low). Very clever marketing! Create diseases, real or imagined, then sell high profit drugs to to “treat” numbers associated with them.


PFIZER REFOCUSES ITS STRATEGY
BY SHANNON PETTYPIECE Bloomberg News
National Post
01 Oct 2008

Pfizer Inc. will abandon early-stage research on heart drugs as part of a strategy to sharpen its focus on ailments such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes where the chances of a bigger profit are greatest. The New York-based company, the…read more…

Posted in atherosclerosis, cholesterol, coronary artery disease, diabetes, Type 2, drugs, obesity, statins | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obesity weighs heavy on heart

Posted by Colin Rose on September 22, 2008

Bottom line: obese people have heart attacks at least ten years sooner and have much more diabetes than thin people, regardless of their blood cholesterol. So all those who say fat is OK as long as you are happy are wrong. And all those drug dealers say you are OK as long as you take a statin to lower your “bad” cholesterol are selling you a very expensive mirage.


Obesity weighs heavy on heart: study
SHARON KIRKEY CANWEST NEWS SERVICE
The Gazette
22 Sep 2008

Heart attacks are hitting the overweight more than a decade sooner than ?normal? weight people, researchers are reporting. A study of more than 111,000 people is one of the first to put real numbers to the risk of obesity and suggests ?excess…read more…

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French fries healthy – no cholesterol

Posted by Colin Rose on August 8, 2008

La Presse reports the latest example of profiting from the cholesterol myth, this time from a restaurant chain famous for its poutine.

Photo by Matt Saunders. A typical plate of Montreal poutine. Can you see the fries buried under the cheese and gravy?

This sign has been seen in many Lafleur outlets in the last few months.


For those who need help with the French, here is a rough translation:

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Our fries – an exceptional product

Produced in Quebec, potatoes, whole and fresh

A nutritious and energizing food, an exceptional vegetable, a healthy choice

More iron than a bowl of spinach,

Two times more potassium than a banana,

More fibre than a bowl of oatmeal

As much protein as half a glass of milk

Less calories than a bowl of rice.

Low in fat and salt and with a high concentration of Vitamin C and cooked in canola oil

Canola oil contains a larger amount of good fat than other popular vegetable oils like olive oil.

A source of omega 3 and omega 6 essential for good nutrition and a healthy diet without cholesterol and trans fat.

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Let’s dissect this diatribe. We would agree that potatoes with the skin, baked or boiled, are nutritious but not particularly exceptional. They certainly don’t deserve the trashing they have gotten from the likes of nutritional morons like Montignac, Atkins or Taube who believe that calories from carbohydrates are poison and that calories from fat or protein are the only good calories. They ignore the fact that one’s brain needs 400 kcal (100 gm) of glucose per day.

Potatoes many contain more iron than a bowl of spinach but have more calories for the same amount of iron. One certainly wouldn’t want to attempt to supply one’s requirement for iron by eating potatoes.

We won’t argue about potassium but one doesn’t put salt on bananas and most servings of French fries, alone or in poutine would come with a lot of salt which tends to negate the benefits of potassium.

The protein in potatoes is not a complete protein, like in animal products, and one wouldn’t want to rely only on potatoes for one’s protein requirement.

One French fry may have less calories than a bowl of rice but a bowl of French fries has a lot more than a bowl of rice.  

Potatoes have very little fat but, when French fried, have a huge amount of fat. There is no such thing as “good” fat. All fat has the same calories, 9 kcal per tablespoon, the most concentrated form of calories. Now there are differences in the fatty acid composition of refined oils from various sources but there are no controlled trials showing these variations have any effect on prevention or treatment of any disease. High profit olive oil and canola oil are “good” because those selling them say they are good.

There are lots of other sources of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. No need to eat French fries.

No vegetable food ever contained cholesterol but so what? Dietary cholesterol is not a problem. But the cholesterol myth has been so well implanted by the drug dealers that grease peddlers, like Lafleur, can use it to sell their junk. I hope Lafleur is paying royalties to Pfizer on every plate of poutine it serves. On the other hand, maybe Pfizer is paying Lafleur and its ilk to flog poutine so that people get obese and get “dyslipidemia” and Pfizer can sell more Lipitor to treat the “dyslipidemia”.

Trans fat is the current politically correct explanation for all the ills of Western civilization including child obesity. It like all kinds of refined fat is totally useless empty calories but there is no evidence that it killed any more people than any other kind of refined fat.

Most importantly, what is nowhere mentioned in the nutritional deception is that the vast majority of the French fries will be served at Lafleur as poutine in which the potatoes become a minor ingredient in the great globs of gravy and high-fat cheese. So Lafleur is really trying to sell more poutine by vastly exaggerating the importance of its only potentially healthy ingredient.

Legal Addictions

The appearance of a typical eater of poutine and a good candidate for a trial of a statin for "treating dyslipidemia"

Posted in cholesterol, diet | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Free Online CME – Drug Dealers’ Propaganda

Posted by Colin Rose on July 26, 2008

Here is a classical example of “free” online CME (Continuing Medical Education) funded by drug dealers and given legitimacy by association with presumably ethical institutions, like “prestigious educational institutes”. Doctors have to accumulate CME credits to maintain their licenses, so they are obliged to look at this propaganda. It seems doctors don’t make enough to pay for their own continuing education and have to depend upon the drug dealers to keep them informed. Shed a tear.

How much is McGill paid to allow it’s logo on this propaganda? McGill is a publicly chartered and funded institution. One should be able to find out but good luck.

Both members of the “Planning Committee” are compromised by financial connection to one or more drug dealers.

David Fitchett is particularly notorious for multiple connection to drug dealers.

But Dr. Fitchett is labeled an “expert”. What has Dr. Fitchett ever done, any more than any other graduate of a medical school, to be considered and expert? I have no idea.

Dr. David Fitchett, Expert

Dr. David Fitchett, Expert

Watch a medical terrorist in action. Take that “powerful” statin to reach “target”, get that muscle pain. If you don’t you will die.

We are advised that “…it is unlikely that lipid targets can be achieved in the absence of pharmacological therapy” and we are given references for these targets. Who sets these targets, anyway? You haven’t guessed by now? In Canada it’s the “Working Group“, all of whom have financial connections with multiple drug dealers and who are chosen to be the conduits of divine revelation by groups like the Canadian Cardiovascular Society that get most of its funding from drug dealers.

And those “resources”? Again, paid for by drug dealers.

So, what appears on the surface to be a scientifically legitimate educational exercise turns out to be propaganda funded by drug dealers at multiple levels. Drug dealers pay doctors and their organizations to promote “targets” for blood  cholesterol, pay “prestigious” institutions for their approval, pay for the web sites, like mdbriefcase, for CME to promote measurement of blood cholesterol and drugs to lower it and doctors must read it to keep their qualifications. What a wonderful marketing machine! And it’s all legal. But what happened to medical professionalism?

Posted in cardiology, cholesterol, drugs, professionalism, statins | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CALIPSO

Posted by Colin Rose on July 9, 2008

Here is a good example of a “study” of statins written by a non-medically licenced employee of a statin-peddling drug company, Merck Frosst Schering, with the names of prominent “experts”, many known to be financially associated with drug companies, shown as secondary authors.

What a nice name! Reminds one of sunny Caribbean islands. Except they had to use an “I” instead of a “y”. Guess they couldn’t find an acronym that fit easily. What was done? Doctors were paid to collect data on patients to whom they prescribed statins. Results? Horrors of horrors, many of them did not reach “target” LDL (bad blood cholesterol). Conclusion? You guessed it. Not enough people are taking enough statins. Suggestion? “Strategies should be implemented to promote achievement of lipid treatment goals…”

Who sets these “targets” anyway? Again, you guessed it, the same sort of doctors as the authors listed in CALIPSO, most paid by drug dealers in one way or another. See the evidence in the US and Canada.

More than half of the subjects had no history of cardiovascular disease, so statins were being used for primary prevention and there is no overall benefit of statins this class of patient.

Note that the first author is employed by a Merck, a big seller of statins.

No attempt was made to alter high risk lifestyles (42% had abdominal obesity and 17% smoked). That’s hard work and takes a lot of time. But, why bother? Surely, after years of medical terrorism by drug dealers, everyone knows that atherosclerosis is caused by bad blood cholesterol and there is a very profitable strategy for attaining “lipid treatment goals”; pay doctors to give statins to reach those arbitrary targets as is now happening in parts of the USA.

The Canadian Journal of Cardiololgy, at least 80% of whose revenue comes from drug companies, does not require financial disclosure by authors but we have found them from another source. In the Acknowledgements those nice people at Merck and  BioMedCom, contracted to do the “study”, are thanked.

While BioMedCom claims to do “scientifically rigorous” work, CALIPSO is not science at all. It is a highly biased sample of what doctors will do if paid to report on the patients to whom they prescibe statins. There is no proof that if the patients had reached “target” they would have benefitted at all. There is no control group who did not receive statins and there is no indication of outcome at all. This is not science, but another attempt at medical terrorism to sell more drugs and any doctor who would put his name on such a study cannot claim to be an expert in “hypercholesterolemia” nor should he or she be part of any group advising other doctors like the “Working Group” in Canada.

Why would all those “experts” in the author list need to hire BioMedCom, to do this “study”? What did these doctors do to justify putting their names on the “study”? And why is an employee of Merck first author? We leave the answers to the reader’s imagination.

 

Financial Conflicts of Interest Not Reported in CALIPSO Paper

 

Posted in atherosclerosis, cardiology, cholesterol, drugs, obesity, professionalism, statins | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »