An article in Gaia Health which I read today, discussing the (so called) latest and greatest new drug trial for people who have low HDL and high LDL cholesterol numbers, tells of the ‘make-up’ of the participants who took part.
The 398 subjects were people with low HDL or high LDL cholesterol levels, but who were also considered to be at low risk of developing heart disease within ten years.
Very interesting isn’t it that these 398 participants were all considered NOT to be of high risk of developing heart disease, yet are being trialed with a new research drug
When it comes down to the art of prescribing cholesterol lowering drugs, it is more often than not, older, sicker patients, with multiple illnesses who are prescribed these drugs. Not that younger people miss out in any way these days, there is a ‘market’ which has been created, by the ever decreasing numbers attributed to so called ‘healthy cholesterol’…. They lower the bar regularly to ensure a larger captive population to whom they can foist their drugs onto.
In this particular case what I am reading is that relatively healthy subjects are their test subjects. When the drug IF IT does in fact make it to market – hits the population at large, what do you think might happen?
There is first of all the possibility of various drug interactions taking place. Older people and sicker people are more likely to be on a broad cocktail of prescription drugs for various problems of aging.
Because the test subjects have been younger and healthier, fewer side effects will have been seen and noted. What in fact really happens is that once the drug is approved and marketed, the new test subjects are the patients to whom this new wonder drug is being prescribed. It then becomes the DUTY of the prescribing doctor to listen to their patients and report any side effects to the drug manufacturer.
Apparently this reporting of side effects did not happen as it should have when the class of drugs known as Statins hit the general public. Doctors told their patients that their complaints could not have been caused by the prescribed medication…. Many suggested that side effects reported were merely signs of ageing. Ten years later there are many studies (over 900) that show that Statin Drugs do serious damage to the human body.
Evacetrapib – the new drug undergoing trials raises HDL and lowers LDL cholesterol by some significant margins. This of course has the pharmaceutical and medical fraternity dancing with joy and seeing dollar signs, because ‘everyone knows’ so they say, that higher HDL and lower LDL is the way to go!
If it were true that forcing levels of these cholesterol elements to change resulted in a genuine change in health, it would be impressive. However, it has never been shown that forcing cholesterol levels to change will result in improved cardiovascular health.
Dr Keith Fox from the University of Edinburgh, who was not involved in the Roche-sponsored research, said the limited size of the trial meant it might not reveal all potential problems.
There is also a lack of evidence — so far at least — that raising HDL with drugs actually stops heart attacks and strokes.
Other’s also report: overall diet interventions appear to raise HDL, but whether this affects cardiovascular events or mortality is unknown.
There is no proof that raising HDL cholesterol or lowering LDL cholesterol will save lives. Yet drug companies are bound and determined to come out with a magic pill to save your life – even at the cost of your general health and well being – like they did with the Statin class of drugs, which have seriously disabled so many people.
It’s not surprising that the study focuses on these issues, since raising HDL and lowering LDL is what the drug is designed to do—and you can be sure that these results will be hyped to high heaven. However, people who are interested in their health should take such research with a big lump of salt.
What matters is whether a drug can benefit people who already have heart disease, not whether arbitrary markers can be forced to change in healthy people. Benefits must be measured in terms that matter, such as whether they extend life and help maintain it with good quality. By those measures, nearly all heart drugs fail nearly everyone to whom they’re given.
This is yet another example of how Big Pharma redirects attention away from what truly matters: whether people’s lives are improved and mortality decreased.
Cholesterol is not the evil baddie; it is the band-aid. Inflammation is what needs to be addressed. What is causing the underlying inflammation? Find that – deal with that – cholesterol numbers will fall into a range that is correct and healthy for your body…. There will be no need for cholesterol lowering medications of any sort or description thank you very much. Perhaps the pharmaceutical companies will not be happy to hear that!