- Health Care, Drugs & Insurance
Deadly Lies: Big Pharma's Hold On Your Heart With Statins
Man's quest to conquer his world and be the master of his universe has been a central theme in human life from time immemorial. No quest for dominance has been so arduous nor so dedicated as the effort to prolong life and defeat death once and for all. The fight against crippling illness and life threatening disease is considered a noble struggle; one who's leaders are revered for their dedication to health and well-being. We imagine our heroes working into the wee hours of the night, Bunsen burner glowing under a flask, the clock ticking by slowly as they feverishly try to discover the final piece of the puzzle that will help to free humanity from one more dreaded malady, and we cheer them on vigorously through monetary donations to their research.
Now, throw in the name Johnson & Johnson, or Pfizer or Merck & Co. and another more disturbing picture begins to take place. Our heroes are suddenly transformed into fiends sporting gnashing fangs, drool seeping from the corners of their mouths as they chortle in malevolent fashion over their grisly concoctions brewing and bubbling over a complicated assortment of tubes and flasks. We imagine them rubbing their hands together in anticipation of the millions of dollars they will wring from the bank accounts of their victims. We hear them mutter to themselves, “Soon....very soon,” before they throw back their heads and let loose their diabolical laugh.
There have been great strides in medicine over the last century, brought on by major discoveries through the help of new technologies which in turn, brought new understandings of how our bodies respond to our environments. These new understandings have been key in finding those final pieces of the puzzle that enable researchers to lead us toward better health practices.
We have naively believed research and development of new technologies and practices are for our healthful benefit, but when did the noble cause turn into a frenzy of greed and corruption? We are bewildered, and many hang on to the belief it's all really in our best interests. It's difficult to imagine another human being who is so corrupt that he would be willing to risk the lives of untold thousands simply to put a little cash into his personal coffer. We've been led to believe that research is not a financially rewarding career, and that most researchers must live very modestly if not in poverty. Their only rewards may come when and if they make some coveted break through. It's the supposed lack of fame and fortune which has fooled us into trusting their motives and celebrating their humanitarian endeavors.
Our big mistake is in failing to differentiate between those independent researchers who must beg for grants and endowments from the rich in order to continue their research, and those researchers who are employed by big pharmaceutical companies. Unfortunately, independent researchers get most of their money from those who are heavily invested in pharmaceuticals and other related industries. Too often, the independents are subject to the rules of the elite who are simply striving to make even more money. And the BIG money is definitely in pharmaceuticals, the drugs that preserve life.
SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!
One of the biggest money makers to hit the drug market has been the discovery of statin drugs. The belief that cholesterol is the culprit behind most Coronary Heart Disease, led to a search for a drug that would reduce the cholesterol produced in those with high levels of the stuff. Last year, 52 million statin prescriptions were written, up 10 million from the 2009 figure of 42 million. That's a 24% increase in only 2 years. It's a 20,000% increase over 1981 prescriptions!
So what's the problem? These drugs have been pronounced the wonder drug of the century, responsible for saving thousands of lives, reducing hundreds of thousands of cardiac events. They've been revered as the answer to fighting the evil cholesterol monster.
The problem is that the need for lowering cholesterol as a means to reducing cardiac events has been based purely on scientific assumption. The cholesterol question asked in the early part of the 20th century drew mass attention because it suggested a possible means to accomplishing the much sought after life everlasting. The teeming mass of humanity had a need. That much need meant money...big money...huge money...so much money that prolonging life was no longer the goal and as greed overshadowed conscience, a new agenda was born. A money making agenda that wouldn't save lives but threaten them and end them slowly and excruciatingly.
The problem is that we've been force fed monstrous lies. We've been pushed down a path toward lifetime enslavement to Big Pharma, paying out huge amounts of money for the privilege of swallowing their toxic poisons costumed in respectable rags designed to hide the truth. The pomp and circumstance provided for cheering about the so called benefits of statin drugs are simply a smoke screen hiding the shackles that imprison us inside their never ending cycle of drugs and side effects with more drugs to combat more side effects until we fall face first into death's embrace.
Every drug marketed for the purpose of lowering cholesterol has had serious health consequences, beginning with MER/29, sold by the Wm. S. Merrell Company in 1960 despite the knowledge that cataracts had been discovered in lab animals. There were over 100,000 people taking the drug and reports of cataracts in humans began coming in, yet the FDA was never informed. It wasn't until the FDA conducted an unannounced record search, discovering the omission of preclinical findings of cataracts in lab animals, muscle wasting in monkeys and other falsified data that MER/29 was removed from the market in 1962. The record search was prompted when a Merrell lab worker claimed that animal data had been falsified. Merrell was indicted by a grand jury and multimillions were awarded to plaintiffs in civil action suits.
Statin drugs made their debut in the late 1970's and early 1980's due to a discovery in 1970 by Marvin Siperstein. It was found that a fungal toxin (aflatoxin) disrupts cholesterol synthesis in cells. Then in 1976, a fungal metabolite which could block cholesterol synthesis was found by a Japanese researcher employed by the pharmaceutical company, Sankyo. After underhanded and cutthroat dealings, Merck & Co. used the discovery to develop the first statin drug, Lovastatin. A year later in 1979, Sankyo had developed its own statin.
It didn't take long for more throat cutting to take place, after all, the winner could expect to earn billions of dollars for a drug that lowered cholesterol safely. Marvin Siperstein and others authored a paper explaining how Sankyo's statin blocked DNA replication in cells and killed them. The following year saw the publication of another paper explaining how statin-fed cells mutate and die. At the same time, Sankyo canceled its clinical trials on humans when half their lab dogs developed cancer. No surprise there, considering that fungal toxins had been found to cause cancer in grain-fed domestic trout and turkeys. When Merck learned of Sankyo's decision to stop statin development, they too made the decision. A year later another academic paper reported on cell mutations induced by statins, but in 1982 they made arrangements with the approval of the FDA to make their drug, Lovastatin, available to patients who had no other recourse and an Investigational New Drug permit was issued.
The unrivaled success led to Merck making the decision to widely market the drug to all who might benefit. However, there was little evidence that lowering cholesterol provided any clinical benefits, though a few dietary intervention and drug studies had reported a reduction in Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). It was on the basis of those meager studies and one completed by the NIH (National Institutes of Health) that an NIH Consensus Conference convened in 1984. At that time, it was concluded that lowering LDL cholesterol with diet and drugs would reduce the risk of CHD and the following year a massive program to educate the public and physicians was undertaken. But unanswered questions remained. How safe would prolonged treatment prove to be? And what about benefits to the elderly?
Merck applied for another Investigational New Drug permit and it was issued in only nine months as opposed to the usual 30 months. Those allied with the drug company claim it's because the FDA was very familiar with Lovastatin because of the numerous dealings around the drug. Others claim it was because of graft and corruption due to the fact that one of those who had received permission to use the drug for patients with no other recourse was none other than Scott Grundy who was selected to chair the NCEP (National Cholesterol Education Program) launched by the NIH.
Also that year, Merck consultants Michael Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their statin research. Interestingly, these two are the authors on that paper explaining how statin fed cells mutate and die, as well as the one co-authored with Marvin Siperstein explaining how Sankyo's statin blocked DNA replication in cells and killed them. But in 1985 their papers no longer reported on the deadly effects of statins. On Feb. 19, 1987, when Michael Brown as one of Merck's representatives attended the FDA advisory committee meeting on lovastatin, he failed to mention the known problems associated from mevalonate deprivation caused by the drug. The FDA gave their stamp of approval for Lovastatin the following August. Then in October, the NCEP published cholesterol treatment guidelines in the American Heart Association's magazine, “Circulation.” The president of the AMA was another Merck consultant...Tony Gotto.
But let's take a closer look at the National Institutes of Health, a government agency. By 1930, cardiovascular disease was the leading cause of death in the United States. Research meant to find an answer for stopping the death machine was cranked up. In 1948, the largest tax-paid study never before attempted, began in the little town of Framingham, MA, and continues to this day. A team of Boston University Medical School physicians recruited most of the town's population age 30 to 62, for a study that would monitor them for the rest of their lives. It was paid for and directed by the Heart Institute,and its purpose was to prove a relationship between high LDL cholesterol and heart disease. A study of this type has many strengths and weaknesses, and should only light the way to further research in highlighted areas. But public health policies have been heavily influenced by the assumptions arrived at by way of the observations at Framingham. For all intents and purposes the study had failed its objective, but that fact was ignored and statistics were twisted in a manner that seemed to support the ideas set forth.
The only thing the study proved was that males between the ages of 28 and 45, who lived in Framingham and had high LDL levels were 2% more likely to die from a heart attack or stroke when compared to the national statistics. It was this single shaky bit of evidence that a new, insidious health agenda was initiated. The goal was to lower LDL cholesterol in everyone....including children.
That October morning in 1987, health authorities made a serious proclamation. They announced that 25% of the country's adult population were in danger of dying from Coronary Heart Disease. They determined that the entire population would need to be screened to identify just who was at risk. They were of the opinion that more than half of those screened would need to be sent to their physicians for tests and evaluations. The first step toward lowering their cholesterol levels would be the prescription of following a strict diet, even though numerous studies had proved that diet had no real effect on the production of cholesterol in the body! The second step would be to determine via more laboratory tests if the diet had achieved specified results. Failure to achieve them would result in a more severe diet. The third and final step would be the administration of powerful drugs for the remainder of their lives.
The National Cholesterol Education Program was deviating from the normal methods of disease prevention such as medical advice and persuasion, to setting down absolute directives in their wording of the treatment guidelines...it was a program of “behavior modification” backed by laboratory testing to ensure adherence and measure the results. The program was put into force without any examination or review by either the White House or Congress. It was launched solely on the authority of the Heart Institute (division of National Institutes of Health) with its panel of specially picked experts. The medically supervised diets were never tested for safety or effectiveness. Millions of people with low to average cholesterol levels were told their levels were dangerously high. No estimates of cost were made, no measurement of real benefits was executed, and absolutely no evidence that lowered blood cholesterol levels could and would save lives.
Once the ball started rolling, it grew momentum. Drug companies were ecstatic that the government had opened up a whole new market for selling their poisons. Food companies were quick to jump on the bandwagon by selling special foods claiming to lower cholesterol. Even the American Medical Association joined the pitch. After all, who stood to gain as much as the drug companies other than the medical professions? Patients would need to visit their doctors, be subjected to testing with samples being sent off to laboratories for results. The cholesterol challenge was a feeding frenzy for those who joined the fray. And who were the prey? Us, the American consumer who was only looking to stay healthy and happy. The scare tactics worked beyond anyone's wildest dreams.
Something the public was NOT told about the Framingham study was one of the very important pieces of knowledge gained. Yet is was ignored. In fact, the very opposite of what was learned was used in the first two steps of the National Cholesterol Education Program. In 1970, a full 17 years before the NCEP was put into place, researchers at Framingham had concluded that diet had absolutely NO relationship with higher cholesterol levels. Because the body manufactures, circulates, and uses such large quantities of cholesterol, small additions or subtractions via diet appeared to be insignificant. By the mid-1960's most researchers had dismissed diet as a viable area of research regarding cholesterol control.
"There is, in short, no suggestion of any relation between diet and the subsequent development of CHD (coronary heart disease) in the study group, " the researchers concluded in the report.
Finding the solution to prolonging life wasn't really the goal embarked upon by pharmaceutical companies. Their end destination was in promoting a product which could be attributed with having those results. The true goal was to find a need which would promote life long use of a drug to achieve those ends, thereby creating a market that would renew itself week after week, month after month, year after year, with a never ending supply of users.
Then why would a change of diet be recommended? Why not just promote the use of statins by themselves? The answer is actually quite simple if you know about the expansive studies that had been undertaken in an effort to prove the theory that heart attacks are caused by cholesterol. The NIH had invested over 60% of the research budget on just two studies spanning more than 10 years, the MR FIT and CPPT. Both were resounding failures. In the end, they had only proved they didn't know what was causing Coronary Heart Disease. In fact, other studies using various drugs designed to lower cholesterol showed an elevated number of deaths in the treated groups as opposed to the control groups. In the end, the scientific standards begun with, were traded in for statistical manipulations.
Again....WHY continue to proclaim that cholesterol was the cause of CHD? Why insist on making bogus recommendations that were blatant lies? The Answer: Professional Egomania. No one wanted to admit that their theories had wasted decades as well as hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.
- Deadly Lies: How The Medical Profession Has Sold Us Out For Statin Riches
The American Public has been bombarded for over 3 decades on the importance of lowering cholesterol. But the medicine was based on flawed science, assumptions, and greed beyond anything imaginable. We like to turn our guns on Big Pharma, but they wer