Lancet recently released a study stating that statins were responsible for preventing around 80,000 cardiovascular events per year. However, many medical groups are now stating that this study was both flawed and drastically underestimated the horrific side effects of the medications.
Several doctors state that without the raw data and access to it by all healthcare professionals, the study can only be considered biased and not fully clear. Many in the medical profession feel that the entire picture was not revealed in order to both benefit the drug companies and to stifle public discourse on the benefits and pitfalls of statins.
Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, who criticized the way the Lancet study was run, stated in an article in the publication The Prescriber:
“Decades of misinformation on cholesterol and the gross exaggeration of statin benefits with downplaying of side effects has likely led to the overmedication of millions of people across the world. The lack of transparency in the prescription of statins is just one symptom of a broken system of healthcare where finance based medicine has trumped independent evidence and what is most important for patients.”
The lack of transparency in the prescription of statins is just one symptom of a broken system of healthcare where finance based medicine has trumped independent evidence and what is most important for patients.”
Malhorta also purports that the benefit of the pills is not based on fact, but rather a forecast. As such, he does not see any scientific data detailing the importance of cholesterol reduction pills, especially in low risk populations.
“It’s time to enter a new era for full independent access to all clinical trials data so doctors can make decisions on treatments with patients with full transparency about true benefits and risks. Until then let’s open our eyes and stop buying into the great cholesterol con.”
Malhorta believes that heart disease and heart attack risks can be mitigated by ensuring that people exercise regularly and eat a proper and healthy diet. Statins, he says, can be introduced to patients who are at a large risk, however those who are not amongst that population should instead try and control their risk of a cardiovascular event with the proper lifestyle changes. He also encourages people to stop smoking to minimize their stroke risk.