Cholesterol-lowering statin drug Lipitor by Pfizer is the best-selling drug ever in the history of pharmaceutical products. Image from Flickr.

Health Impact News Editor Comments:

What is one way to get doctors to wake up to the dangers of the drugs they prescribe? Put them on the same drugs!

Apparently, this simple technique has worked in the U.K, as leading doctors speaking out against the dangers of statin drugs now include Dr. Kailash Chand, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association.

What has caused Dr. Chand to sound the alarm? The Daily Express reports that he has suffered “awful” muscle pains while taking statins, and claims that plans to prescribe them to millions more adults will “only benefit drug companies”.

Health chief slams statins: Millions face terrible side effects as prescription escalates

By: Lucy Johnston
Daily Express


LEADING doctors are demanding an end to the widespread prescription of statins, warning that one in four Britons will soon be at risk of terrible side effects from the controversial heart drugs.

Those sounding the alarm include Dr Kailash Chand, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association, who suffered “awful” muscle pains while taking statins and claims that plans to prescribe them to millions more adults will “only benefit drug companies”.

The drugs are currently offered to patients with a 20 per cent risk of developing heart disease to help keep their cholesterol levels in check.

Around seven million adults take the drugs. Under guidance to be published later this month by Government drug watchdog the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence (NICE), the threshold will be cut to a 10 per cent risk.

This will see millions more adults routinely prescribed the drugs. Aseem Malhotra, a cardiology specialist registrar, and Dr Malcolm Kendrick, a GP and cholesterol expert, will write to Nice next week, urging it to reconsider the move.

They will ask the watchdog not to rely on evidence from drug company sponsored trials, which have been shown to play down the risk of side effects including diabetes, impotence, cataracts, muscle pains, mental impairment, fatigue and liver dysfunction.

Dr Chand last night warned that giving the drugs to low-risk patients was “a commercialisation device” and not in their interests. Many experts say it is unnecessary to “medicalise” a problem which could be controlled with simple dietary changes, pointing to a study showing that eating an apple a day cuts cholesterol levels as effectively as taking statins.

Dr Kendrick, who has written a book called The Great Cholesterol Con, said: “I can stop people dying from heart disease by pushing them off the edge of a cliff. They might not like the end result.”

Read the Full Article here.

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