Thursday, July 8, 2010

Kids on statins

Since I am not always good at staying on top of the latest developments, I really appreciate that a member of our Nourishing Our Children-NYC group sent me this. If I were less cynical about pharmaceutical companies - and if the writing style were a bit different - I would think this was straight out of the Onion. But sadly, this development is a perfect indicator of what our world is coming to, in terms of the avarice of drug companies, and the health and future of our children.

To set the stage a little here, it's important to remember that cholesterol serves a healing and protective function in the body. So while abnormally-high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides can be an indicator of a state of imbalance or an underlying illness in the body, the solution is not to turn to medications but to address what is causing the problem -- nearly always a dietary issue, like consumption of refined starches and sugars (including chips, soda, white bread, juice, etc.). Clearly there are many children whose health is in a state of crisis because they are very overweight and eating a terrible diet. However, dangerous statins are not the solution! And for the general population, so-called "healthy" levels of cholesterol, as determined by drug companies and the powerful medical establishment, have now been set so low as to make nearly every healthy person a "patient" in need of statins. I believe the current level is 180, which most of the older population is over (and for good reason: blood cholesterol levels increase naturally as people age as a protective factor. In fact, "high" cholesterol is actually associated with longevity. The caveat I would add is that the person must be eating an appropriate diet and taking good care of themselves, and then if their cholesterol is high it will be because their body needs it for some reason only the body knows.).

To read more about the dangers of statins (cholesterol-lowering medications), click here.

The most alarming line in this article is in bold.

Pfizer gets EU approval for kids' cholesterol drug

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The European Union has approved a new chewable form of cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor for children 10 and up with high levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides, a type of blood fat, Pfizer said Tuesday.

The approval includes children whose high blood fats are due to an inherited disease that causes extremely high cholesterol levels, familial hypercholesterolemia.

New York-based Pfizer Inc. won U.S. approval for Lipitor use in children 10 to 17 with that condition in 2002.

Lipitor is the world's top-selling drug, with 2009 sales of about $13 billion, but its U.S. patent expires at the end of November 2011. Pfizer, the world's biggest drugmaker, will quickly lose most Lipitor revenue once generic competition hits, so the company has been trying to boost sales where possible before then.

Pfizer said last fall that it plans to apply for a six-month extension of its patent in European countries, after doing studies of Lipitor in youngsters.

As in the United States, the European Union allows drug makers to seek an additional six months of patent protection for medications if they test them in children, who generally are excluded from the drug studies performed to win approval for a new medication.

To read the full article, click here.

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