New drug approval puts low-risk heart patients at greater risk of diabetes

I knew it was coming. There was no doubt whatsoever.

Still, I’ve got to say it: ARGHHHHHHH!

It’s absolutely insane. The FDA recently made it official: Crestor – a cholesterol-lowering statin drug – has now been approved for certain “patients” who do not have high cholesterol.

ARGHHHHHHH!

But there is some amusement here (provided you like your humor on the dark side). Reuters reports that the advisory panel that gave the green light for the new approval “voiced concern that doctors might use Crestor too broadly in patients with low risk.”

Hilarious! They know without question that many mainstream doctors will start prescribing Crestor without applying excessive brainpower to what they’re doing.

The problem with that? Side effects.

In a Q&A for healthcare professionals, the agency made the primary side effect – muscle pain – sound like no big deal. Hey – you can get that with any statin! Relax! (Of course, “muscle pain” sounds much less serious than what it actually is: a symptom of muscle damage.)

Then the agency ended the Q&A with this mysterious note: “An unexpected safety finding in the JUPITER trial was an increase in the number of individuals receiving CRESTOR compared to those receiving a placebo who developed diabetes. Previous meta-analyses have suggested that this is an effect of all statin drugs and is not unique to CRESTOR.”

Well, FDA…which is it? An “unexpected safety finding,” or a not unique “effect of all statin drugs”?

Doesn’t matter. What matters is that many new Crestor users at very low risk of heart problems will develop diabetes.

THEN they’ll really have problems!

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson

Sources:

“Questions and Answers for Healthcare Professionals: CRESTOR and the JUPITER Trial” FDA News Release, 2/9/10, fda.gov
“U.S. Clears Wider Use of AstraZeneca Cholesterol Drug” Lisa Richwine, Reuters, 2/8/10, reuters.com