“ideal cholesterol” level is fueling this fire. Merck really-really wants the FDA to approve the first-ever over-the-counter statin. Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News reports:I guess the news about the
For the third time in seven years, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has been asked to recommend making Merck & Co.'s statin drug Mevacor available over the counter.I mentioned it the other day, but it bears repeating. Dr. Fuhrman is no fan of statins, especially their side-effects. He points them out in his book Cholesterol Protection for Life, check it out:
But with groups such as the American Medical Association, Public Citizen and Consumers Union lined up against it, experts think Merck's proposal is likely to be rejected once again when the panel meets on Thursday.
"The third time is not the charm," said Dr. Steven E. Nissen, chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. "It's time to move on."
Merck's proposal is being presented to a joint meeting of the FDA's Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee and its Endocrinology and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee. The FDA does not have to follow the advice of its advisory panels, but it usually does.
The known side effects for various statins include hepatitis, jaundice, other liver problems, gastrointestinal upsets, muscle problems and a variety of blood complications such as reduced platelet levels and anemia.In general, Dr. Fuhrman feels doctors should not be too quick to prescribe medications for diseases and conditions that can be treated without. He explains why:
In the first pharmacology lecture that I head in medical school, the physician impressed on us that all drugs are toxic and we should never forget this. We were taught that medications work because of their pharmacologic properties—properties that enable the substance to interfere with, block, or stimulate an activity of the body. Drugs typically modify the way the body expresses the signs and symptoms of disease, but in chronic disease states, they do no undo the damage or remove the disease.Unfortunately our society suffers from magic pill syndrome. So I doubt this will resonate.