Last week I warned you how statin drugs are going to be pushed down everyone’s throat because of a new heart risk “calculator.”
Well, it looks like Pfizer has an even more shocking plan up its sleeve. One that would put its dangerous drug in reach of everyone.
When you hear about cholesterol numbers being replaced with a “risk calculator” and studies suddenly hitting the news about the safety of statins, you know something is up.
From where I sit, it looks like the all the dots are being connected for Pfizer to get what it wants.
And that will be about as dangerous as it gets.
Pfizer was in a snit back in 2011 when the patent expired on its blockbuster statin drug Lipitor. So someone hatched the idea to keep the big money rolling in. “Why not try and get a non-prescription version of Lipitor on the market?”
It’s the old “Rx-to-OTC switch.” Only in this case it’s especially bad news for anyone who isn’t aware of just how dangerous the drug is.
The very thought of being able to casually buy Lipitor at the drug store or 7-11 is so crazy that even the big shots at Pfizer must have thought it was an insane plan. But the company has one goal, so it plowed ahead to find “new and creative ways” to get the FDA to okay this scheme.
And to pull that off, they got a little help from their friends at the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology when it unveiled its “heart risk calculator” last year.
But it was more like a “statin risk” calculator. Because what it did was put over 13 million more people at risk for starting on this drug.
This calculator is like an app on your iPad. Only instead of playing Candy Crush, you’re playing cardiologist. Answer seven questions and bingo, here’s your 10-year risk of having a heart attack.
And that’s playing right into Pfizer’s hands. Because for once, they don’t need you to “ask your doctor” about a drug.
Last October, Pfizer started its big “trial” for Lipitor OTC at over 35 pharmacies. It recruited 1,200 people and gave them a dummy box of the pills to look at, and had them use the app. If their responses were “right,” they were “allowed” to sign up for the trial — and, lucky them, take home some Lipitor OTC with instructions to pop one a day for almost seven months.\
Pfizer said it will learn if folks can follow the directions correctly, and then present these results to the FDA to close what it calls the “treatment gap.” What they’re really saying is, “Let’s make Lipitor as easy to buy as chewing gum.”
One Pfizer VP called it the company’s “responsibility to demonstrate patients can safely and effectively use these products.”
Look, these “products” aren’t safe even when a doctor is prescribing them and monitoring your use. The idea of allowing people to grab anything this risky off the shelf and manage their own dose is unbelievable!
But this plan in the works for Lipitor may just be the tip of the iceberg for a dangerous new trend of pushing Rx pills like vaccines. Just get consumers to think of these drugs as “preventing” instead of “treating” illness, and Pfizer and all its friends will have it made.
That’s enough to make anyone sick.
“Lipitor: Pfizer aims to sell over-the-counter version” Peter Loftus, March 2, 2014, The Wall Street Journal, wsj.com
“New guidelines could double number of Americans on statin drugs” Jodie Jackson Jr., March 2, 2014, Columbia Daily Tribune, columbiatribune.com