All of the propaganda (marketing) bandied about by the drug companies for this class of drugs is really proving all the critics hace said for years.
I am an early member of one of those efforts to educate people about the dangers of the statin clss of drugs. The group I most closely align myself with is THINCS or The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics.
I the case of this class of drug it pays to be a skeptic because as the years flow by more reports emerge identifying the health risks of these drugs, the excessive profit margin associated with low cost of the active ingredient and very high cost of each prescription, and the associated health problems that can develop.
There are quite a view posts here on cholesterol lowering drugs here, including suggestions for more natural treatments. Of course we can't forget to reiterate that lowering cholesterol does not really protect you from heart attack.
Along with a healthy food plan, exercise, reduced stress, a properly functioning thyroid gland (especially for women), raw vinegar and some vitamin and mineral support you'll be able to accomplish a rebalancing of cholesterol and gain much in the way of health improvement.
And now there is another option for you, and for your doctor as well because this is a professional product.
I've worked with this line of Taoist herbal products since 1993. These are unique in their class, and perhaps do more that you may see on the surface.
Consideration for what is now named Cirrin includes:
USES: poor circulation, helps remove toxins and build up in arteries, veins and cappillaries due to aging, improper diet, or illness, helps decrease pain and swelling due to poor circulation.
OTHER USES: improve the health of hair, skin, and nails because of poor circulation. Also anti-tumor.
HOW TO USE: CIRRIN may be taken on an empty stomach or before, during or after meals. 2 to 6 capsules are taken 3 to 4 times per day. If improvement of overall condition is not attained within 2 days of use, increase by 1 capsule each serving, up to 6 capsules 4 times per day.
SIDE EFFECTS: None known.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: CIRRIN has no known drug interaction.
Happily you may expect your cholesterol levels to rebalance without worry.
The nice part about these products is that they are herbal formulas and they have been tested at Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
Contact us for more information.
Vytorin fails to meet main goal of heart study
By Bill Berkrot and Ransdell Pierson Mon Jul 21, 2008
The cholesterol fighter Vytorin sold by Merck & Co Inc and Schering-Plough Corp failed to meet the main goal of improving outcomes in a closely-watched heart study, according to data presented on Monday.
Slightly higher incidents of cancer deaths were also seen in those taking the drug -- 39 versus 23 on placebo -- although the lead researcher said those could have occurred as a result of chance.
The shares of both companies fell after the data were released, with Schering off more than 15 percent and Merck down by 7 percent.
No significant difference in the study's composite heart goals was seen between the patients who received Vytorin and those who received a placebo, according to data presented in London by its primary researcher, Dr. Terje Pedersen of Ulleval University Hospital in Oslo, Norway.
Researchers played down the cancer data, saying much larger studies of Vytorin have not showed increased cancer risk.
"There is no overall credible evidence of an increase in cancer," said Sir Richard Peto, professor of medical statistics and epidemiology at the University of Oxford, who reviewed the data. "We should not be diverted (from using Vytorin) by fears of cancer."
Merck and Schering-Plough delayed reporting quarterly financial results, which were expected on Monday morning, so investors could first learn about the outcome of the study.
The primary composite goals of the study of patients with irregular thickening of the main valve to the aorta were broken into two sets of secondary goals and Vytorin was superior on one of those sets, researchers said.
Vytorin was significantly better than placebo in reducing atherosclerotic events, defined as nonfatal heart attacks, need for coronary artery bypass surgery or artery-clearing procedures, hospitalization due to chest pain and strokes.
"The study has given a clear-cut answer whether lipid lowering will influence the cause of aortic stenosis and we can conclude it does not," Pedersen said.
But he noted that Vytorin did offer some benefits in reducing risk of coronary artery disease in the study.
The drug was no better than placebo on the other secondary measure of reducing aortic valve disease events -- the need for surgical valve replacement, hospitalization because of heart failure and cardiovascular death.
"Overall it looks positive. They did decrease atherosclerotic events, which is sort of what everyone expected," said Jon LeCroy, an analyst for Natixis Bleichroeder.
He said cancer fears should be allayed by results of larger, previous studies.
"But we've seen with drugs in the past any time cancer gets tagged on them sometimes the prescriptions can come off a little bit," he added.
Vytorin did lower bad LDL cholesterol by 61 percent throughout the study.
"The bottom line is there was a trade-off in this trial -- in a reduction in some cardiovascular events and an excess of cancer deaths. It's obviously not a favorable result," said Dr Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at Cleveland Clinic, who has been critical of Vytorin use in the past.
The trial was designed to determine whether aggressive cholesterol lowering can lessen the need for surgical replacement of aortic valves, reduce cardiac death and reduce cardiovascular events, including heart attacks.
The 1,873-patient study, meant to follow subjects for a minimum of four years, is the largest formal trial ever conducted in patients with the condition, known as aortic stenosis. An estimated 2 percent of people over age 65 have the condition, which can lead to heart failure.
Sales of the pill have suffered this year and Merck and Schering-Plough stock has fallen sharply, following Vytorin's failure to cut plaque in neck arteries in a separate trial called Enhance.
Widespread unfavorable publicity followed release of the Enhance results in mid-January and subsequent recommendations by researchers that patients first try other cholesterol fighters before opting for Vytorin.
Linda Bannister, an analyst for Edward Jones, said it would have been a positive surprise had Vytorin met the main goal of the latest study, called SEAS.
"The concern is how this is going to be portrayed and perceived and is it just going to be another issue where there is a lot of negative publicity surrounding the drug," Bannister said.
Merck shares were down $2.80, or 7.4 percent, at $34.28, while Schering-Plough shares were down $3.36, or 15.6 percent, at $18.08 in afternoon trading.
(Additional reporting by Lewis Krauskopf, Deepa Seetharaman, Michael Kahn and Kim Dixon; Editing by Andre Grenon)Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited.