Cholesterol-lowering statins are among the most profitable drugs ever. They can help protect people with heart disease from new heart attacks. But should they be taken even by healthy people, hundreds of millions of people without heart disease? That’s what the guidelines currently say, but there are some serious issues involved.
Should we simply trust statin studies, when most are paid and conducted by the pharmaceutical companies who sell the drugs? Studies where the raw data on effects and side effects are being kept secret, to stop independent researchers from seeing it? And finally, when these studies are interpreted and judged by expert panels, full of people that are paid by the same pharmaceutical companies?
Here’s a new narrative review by science journalist Maryanne Demasi, followed by a two-part adaptation of the paper in lay terms:
- British Journal of Sports Medicine: Statin wars: have we been misled about the evidence? A narrative review
- Statin Wars: secrecy and the world’s most lucrative drugs
- Statin Wars: how Big Pharma infiltrates governments and the medical profession