Why is Lipitor® The Best Selling Drug in the World
Why is Lipitor® (a cholesterol-lowering agent) The Best Selling Drug in the World
In 2006, Pfizer sold 20 billion dollars worth of Lipitor (atorvastatin) world-wide on the assumption that this cholesterol-lowering drug has the ability to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
While you are asleep, your liver produces two types of cholesterol, HDL (high density lipid protein, or as it commonly known, good cholesterol) and LDL (low density lipid protein, more commonly known as bad cholesterol). This is done to repair oxidation damage suffered during the waking hours. As humans, we must have a constant supply of oxygen. Twenty minutes without it and we are dead, but the free oxygen radicals cause damages to our arteries. LDL cholesterol is a gooey thick substance that travels to the site and repairs the damage. The excess LDL is dissolved in the HDL cholesterol and washed out of our systems.
Originally an LDL level of 3.8 and an HDL level of 1.4 gave you a health number of 5.2 which was allowed to range up to 5.8 and this was considered normal. In recent years, pharmaceutical companies have convinced physicians that the total cholesterol level must be no higher than 4.0 and this almost tripled their sales. The fact that the drug is only approved for people at risk for heart attack or stroke is totally ignored as doctors prescribe this drug for almost everybody over the age of 40.
The main side-effect is a muscle-deteriorating condition known as Rhabdomolysis, causing severe muscle pain and sometimes even death if it affects your heart muscle. Lipitor® interferes with your liver’s ability to produce LDL as well as HDL (good cholesterol) and reduces Co Enzyme Q production (your body’s natural antioxidant) by 50%.
Two recent studies have shown that the risks associated with Lipitor® far outweigh any benefits. A study in March 2007, published in the British Medical Journal, “the Lancet” indicated that people who took statin-lowering drugs like Lipitor® were only 1.5% less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. A second study published in JAMA) Journal of the American Medical Association) showed that most elderly people who suffered from dementia had unusually low levels of cholesterol. Could this drug actually be connected to the recent huge increase in Alzheimer’s disease?
Lipitor® is one of the best examples of how the pharmaceutical industry, using physicians as their surrogates, sells billions of dollars of unnecessary drugs to a naïve public.