Did Pfizer Conceal That Statins Can Cause Diabetes?


Cholesterol-lowering drugs, so called statins, may cause diabetes. This is nowadays well-known and is listed among side effects you’re at risk for. But did pharmaceutical companies know this long before and try to keep it secret for as long as possible?

Thousands of people who have taken the drug and gotten diabetes have now sued Pfizer for keeping this a secret:

Reuters.com: Pfizer confronts surge of lawsuits over Lipitor

It will be interesting to see the result of the upcoming review, as Pfizer previously has had to pay record-high fraud fines for putting greed before patient safety.

Previously on statins


Top comment

  1. robert
    (9 out of 1000) vs (12 out of 1000). Man, that is hilarious. (3 out of 1000) see some sort of benefit while (997 out of 1000) get nothing out of it, except maybe the nasty side effects. That is a wonder-pill! One really has to wonder who decided this stuff is worth using at all. It almost doesn't do anything good, has known adverse effects that seem to occur quite often and this stuff is used to mass-medicate the planet. They're even targeting kids now. Prescribed "just in case".

    With that kind of efficiency (again 3 out of 1000) nobody would take it if it were a pain-killer.

    Reply: #12
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All comments

  1. tony
    I read somewhere that statins users have a higher mortality from all causes than non-users. I hope Dr. Andreas only prescribes it in extreme cases.
    Reply: #2
  2. erdoke
    Although relative numbers might be shocking, absolute figures are not that terrifying. When they claim 30 % lower CVD risk for example, it is something like 0.9 % against 1.2 %. It is true that overall mortality can easily be 2-3 % higher on these cases in the intervention group, but that is also a relative figure. Although often there is a pre-filtering step when high risk people are eliminated and sometimes it is 30 % of all potential participants ending up excluded...
    Reply: #8
  3. Tyrannocaster
    In America, at least, it is hard to be surprised by anything. Here, the tobacco industry moved into industrial food production after the states' attorney generals sued them because of the damages their products had done and the states won. So now the American Tobacco Company owns Kraft Foods. Does the ATC have the customer's health in mind or profits? Is there any reason to think that the drug companies are more benign? I don't think so.
  4. BR
    Hi Dr. Eenfeldt,

    Do you believe statins are good for anybody?

  5. Andrew
    Never trust a pill to solve you're problems!!!
  6. E-Lena
    Andrew: I could not say it better myself!
  7. robert
    (9 out of 1000) vs (12 out of 1000). Man, that is hilarious. (3 out of 1000) see some sort of benefit while (997 out of 1000) get nothing out of it, except maybe the nasty side effects. That is a wonder-pill! One really has to wonder who decided this stuff is worth using at all. It almost doesn't do anything good, has known adverse effects that seem to occur quite often and this stuff is used to mass-medicate the planet. They're even targeting kids now. Prescribed "just in case".

    With that kind of efficiency (again 3 out of 1000) nobody would take it if it were a pain-killer.

    Reply: #12
  8. sten
    Is this the way statin trials go: Select the random sample, exclude the ""High Risk People" , and then run an "induction trial" or "wash out" or whatever they call it for a few weeks so that most of those becoming sick or showing side effects also can be completely excluded from the real trial?
    The remaining hard core super healthy are then exposed to the drug and there should be no surprise for anyone that it is working better for these people than for the general population, the group in which both the excluded groups remain.

    On top of that I note Roberts comment #7 describing the dismal improvements actually shown, improvement figures our doctors are subscribing after? Or do they subscribe on the free holiday trips coming when over x prescriptions per month have been filled, in the name of "Heart health"?

    After all that it seems to me that statins are likely pure poison that should be avoided.

    On top of this we now know that high blood sugar causes inflammation in arteries which leads to plaque build up, high blood pressure and earlier death, and that just these medication causes that....
    How it is possibly to get away with it beats me. Yet also Rockefeller #I started out as a snake oil seller, so money must have a lot to do with it.

    Reply: #9
  9. erdoke
    I think it's a bit more complicated, but based on the science I have seen so far, the recommendation for subscribing statins should be (beyond familial hypercholesterolaemia of course):
    - No way statins should be taken by women.
    - No statins make sense for men under 50 or above 65.
    - No statins for men between 50-65 unless preceding CV event (heart attack).
    - Always supplement Coenzyme Q10!
    Adding up the genetic disorder(s) and #3 above is still below 2 % of the population, in contrast to latest recommendation which covers close to 30 %.
    Reply: #11
  10. Tyrannocaster
    What a shame that those of us who do *not* own pharmaceutical companies are excluded from making money so easily.
  11. Mark
    One problem is that the pharmaceutical companies have attempted to get the definition of "hypercholesterolaemia" as low as possible.
    To the extent that the numbers often used as "maximums" would make more sense as "minimums".
    (The actual "healthy range" for men appears to be something like 5.2-6.2 mmol/l. Rather at odds with the British 0-4 or 0-5. But within the Swedish 3.3-6.9)
    Even someone with actual hypercholesterolaemia might well find themselves overdosed to hypocholesterolemia.
    Another possible factor would be insulin resistant people showing an elevated cholsterol level as a symptom, but just given these drugs, rather than being identified as being at risk of developing T2 diabetes.
    Ths situation where "too high" is considered a direct problem whereas "too low" is either ignored or considerd a "symptom" appears common. Even though it makes no sense.
  12. Mark
    Since several satin "side effects" match well with symptoms of hypocholesterolemia they might better be described as "overdose".
    An actual side effect would have to be something which could not possibly result from lowering of cholesterol. Which given how vital cholesterol is to animal cells may not leave that many possibilities :)
  13. Janknitz
    Seems to me I read that the increase in actual risk of developing diabetes from statin is not that much higher than the general population, it's the relative risk which makes it sound high. But, it would be nice Karma if drug companies were held to answer for the increase in relative risk, since decreasing relative risk is how they manage to justify statin use in the first place. :o)

    But it also seems to me that the increase diabetes risk is more correlative than anything else, so the lawsuit is unfortunately on shaky ground. People for whom statins are typically prescribed are the same people who have a higher risk of Type II in the first place (due to age, obesity, diet, lifestyle, etc.).

    OTOH, there's some direct evidence that statins interfere with the mevalonate pathway and the production of Coenzyme Q10. Higher rates of congestive heart failure can be directly linked to the deficiency of CoQ10--and there's ample evidence that statins interfere with its production. I think this is the bigger danger of statins, and it's direct causation, not mere correlation. This is where I'd like to see a class action against drug manufacturers--IMHO it has a better chance of success.

    Replies: #14, #17
  14. robert
    "Inhibition of Cholesterol Biosynthesis Impairs Insulin Secretion..."


    Statins are not directly involved, but they also interfere with cholesterol synthesis, so if I had to guess I would expect that ß-cells react in a similar way, less insulin secretion.

    In this publication the negative effects were fully reversible, meaning that the cells weren't killed. But it is known that in humans ß-cells die if glucose levels are too high for too long and don't grow back.

    So statins might kill them indirectly by impairing insulin secretion while being taken and the elevated glucose then finishes them off. The beginning of diabetes. If your pancreas is already over-stressed, not so unlikely for people who are targeted with statins, this process might take place much quicker.

    Of course the irony is that diabetes increases the risk for heart disease considerably, and the statins are prescribed to reduce it, but can cause diabetes...

  15. tony
    I found this website with tons of studies showing statins' side effects:


    Reply: #16
  16. robert
    That site is a real treasure chest. Provides a lot of material to prepare for the sad day someone will want you to take statins.
  17. erdoke
    I do not really get what you meant with this:
    "there's some direct evidence that statins interfere with the mevalonate pathway"
    Statins are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Sure they interfere with the mevalonate pathway, that's the whole point of it. The problem is that the mevalonate pathway is responsible for the synthesis of a bunch of important molecules, not only for cholesterol's. One example is coenzyme Q10 another is steroid hormones. Statins cut the tree low at the trunk while cholesterol is only one of the fruits on a specific branch... On top of that now cholesterol itself is unquestionably believed not to be the cause of atherosclerosis, so the real mechanism through which statins might positively contribute at all is something different, probably an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic like effect.
  18. Eddie Mitchell
    If you believe statins are going to improve your health, then you are already on too many drugs !

    Eddie the lowcarbdiabetic

  19. Welldun
    I hope they get sued right into the ground
  20. Nick
    This is so ridiculously terrible. Doctors are prescribing statins in an attempt to improve your bloodwork. This is rarely effective. Then in turn the improved bloodwork is supposed to improve your odds of evading heart disease and heart attack. This is not really an assured thing either. So in prescribing statins we are relying on two things working, first the statins have to work, then the improved blood work has to improve your heart/artery health, this is a long shot for both working. But in doing so, you run the risk of becoming diabetic which is an assured track towards heart/artery problems. Bravo pfizer, you've really out done yourselves this time. Hmm, wait, I'll bet pfizer has a prescription for your diabetes too! It'll probably be allright if you just get one or two more pfizer prescriptions.
  21. Misabi
    In New Zealand, type 2 diabetics are prescribed statins as a matter of course...
  22. ironshirt
    why doesn't this surprise me. i will also bet that Pfizer makes a whole lot more from diabetic pharmaceuticals than it does from statins.
    Even worse when the lobbyists push for pharmaceutical favors with patents via the FDA. The whole system is rigged for the corporate masters to milk the government through its beneficiaries, the citizens. i forgot corporations are people as well...lol
    What a joke. These guys are laughing all the way to wall street.
  23. B B
    Whatever happened to the part of the Hippocratic Oath of "do no harm"? It seems to have been replaced with the Hypicritial Oath of "it's OK to use & abuse your patients for monetary gain under the guise of patient care as long as you don't get caught".
    Makes one view any and all doctors as self-centered & willling to sell their soul to the devil of pharmaceutical companies & their money. What a horribly sad state of affairs in the medical industry.
    What an equally sad state of affairs when your government, who seems to want to 'help' run every businesses business, as well as healhcare, is letting this happen as though nothing wrong with it!

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