Is the AHA actually Big Pharma in sheep’s clothing?

From the outside, the American Heart Association sure looks to be a top-rate charitable organization.

But when you chip a little of its carefully constructed coating off, what you’ll soon find is a non-profit that’s really a shill for Big Pharma.

And its latest scheme hopes to terrify you into lowering your cholesterol — by doing whatever it takes.

Pharma’s PR machine

It may look like the AHA gets all its money from charity balls, walk-a-thons and events like its Go Red for Women. But those aren’t where the really big bucks come from.

A couple of years ago, a report by a group that tracks pharma payments discovered that during just one year’s time the AHA raked in $15 million from drug, medical device and health insurance companies.

Plus that, some of those millions were paid directly to AHA executives!

Now, the charity is cooking up another cozy partnership with Big Pharma, called “Check. Change. Control. Cholesterol.”

Along with attempting to dazzle us with all that fancy punctuation, the goal is to give the group an opening to talk about cholesterol, make you talk about cholesterol (especially to your doctor), and have you believe that we just don’t know “how to best” manage it.

It kicked things off with a survey, which it says proves how ignorant we all are about our cholesterol numbers and what we should do about it. So enter the AHA to show us the way!

But the ones who are really leading the way are the makers of one of those incredibly risky PCSK9 cholesterol meds we’ve been telling you about, none other than drugmakers Sanofi and Regeneron — who brought to market the $14,000-a-year cholesterol shot Praluent.

Now, these PCSK9 blockers, such as Praulent (there are currently two the FDA has approved) aren’t your typical cholesterol meds.

Because as bad as statins can be, these drugs have them beat hands down. PCSK9 blockers can force your cholesterol to unheard-of lows. And that’s something that can make you a sitting duck for depression, Parkinson’s disease, and what the AHA specializes in supposedly preventing — heart attacks and strokes.

And, as I told you last month, Praulent and Repatha (made by Amgen) were approved amidst a sea of red flags, the most frightening being the potential of “neurocognitive adverse events.” And that warning came directly from the FDA!

But this is just the opening shot for the AHA’s PR scheme.

The real heavy-hitting program, the “national initiative,” is planned to be rolled out next year. But even right now, all it takes are two clicks and you can land right on the website of the AHA’s “cholesterol sponsor,” Sanofi and Regeneron, and get still more scary facts.

The drugmakers even produced a documentary, complete with an Alfred Hitchcock-like score, to get us running to our doctors for help with this “global problem you can’t see.”

Well, here are some other things you may not have seen:

  • When cholesterol gets below 180, you could be doubling your chances of a stroke, compared to those in the range of 230. Dr. David Tirschwell announced those findings at an AHA meeting over 18 years ago!
  • Over 30 years ago, research from Japan yielded similar findings — as did a long-term study on middle-aged men in Hawaii.
  • A study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that for people in their 70s, those with cholesterol numbers under 160 were twice as likely to die as those with numbers up to 199.

Certainly, these findings are nothing new. And yet the AHA continues on with the Big Pharma party line that the lower the better where cholesterol numbers are concerned.

But I guess that’s to be expected. After all, as long as the group is still recommending margarine (something well known to contain artery-clogging partially hydrogenated oil) over butter, obviously it’s time to get our health advice elsewhere!

“American Heart Association survey finds patients uncertain about how to best manage their cholesterol” Heart News, April 10, 2017, newsroom.heart.org