Doctor Arnold Jenkins asks this question in an open letter published in the October 2003 issue of the British Medical Journal titled, Might Money Spent on Statins be Better Spent? Here are some selected excerpts from his letter
“The benefits of publishing negative findings should be obvious. As a general practitioner I wonder how many million pounds sterling the NHS could save if the Medical Research Council, the British Heart Foundation, and the Lancet shared this view…. I was surprised to learn [THE SCANDINAVIAN STUDY] that more women died in the treated group than in the control group. On discussion with cardiology colleagues I was assured that as the numbers were small it was a statistical anomaly, resolvable by larger studies. Imagine my delight when I heard of the large HEART PROTECTION STUDY showing clear benefits in the use of statins for women. On reading this study I was therefore disappointed to find the total mortality [death] data for women MISSING…. I do not understand why the censors of this paper do not realize two things. Firstly, any meta analyses based on this study are likely to be skewed. Secondly, in such long term studies total mortality, not improvement in the condition [High Cholesterol], should be the gold standard for evaluation (euthanasia, for example, provides 100% cure of headache but should be ruled out on the mortality data). I have yet to find a paper showing a significant reduction in mortality in women for groups treated with statins…. Yet we are almost compelled by protocols such as the national service framework for coronary heart disease and local prescribing incentives to prescribe for this subgroup [this last sentence is for the proponents of Obama-Care here in America]…. I wonder whether the money could be better spent or if we should abandon the little evidence based medicine we currently have?“
Pfizer spent 181 million dollars advertising their blockbuster STATIN DRUG Lipitor in 2010. Did it pay off? Does a one legged duck swim in circles? Lipitor was the number one drug in America that year with 7.2 billion dollars worth sold! Another statin (Crestor) was close behind at 3.8 billion dollars spent. However, Zocor (another statin) was the number two most-prescribed drug, coming in at a whopping 94.1 million prescriptions per year. Interestingly enough, the biggest mover (spending increase) was also in a statin drug (Crestor).
Why is the money issue such a big deal? It is part of the conspiracy to mis-educate and scare people concerning cholesterol. If I can create Cholesterol-induced panic, I can get everyone, including the government, to open their wallets. And like I already told you — it really is all about the money (HERE).