FOX 47 - Health News
Now, a major drug maker wants to sell them to healthy people, as a way to prevent heart disease.
Crestor, the second-best selling cholesterol medication, will begin a new marketing strategy, and they're doing it with the government's blessing.
About 40 million people in this country take cholesterol medications, but new guidelines, approved by the FDA, would open the pharmacy to 6.5 million more people -- people with no cholesterol problems and no sign of heart problems.
Some doctors are putting up some red flags.
Studies show statins can increase a patient's risk for diabetes, liver disease, and muscle aches.
Dr. David Shearer is a family physician with Dean Health. He says taking a pill is not always the solution, and people need to focus on preventative steps.
"Stopping smoking, losing weight, eating a balanced diet, these lifestyle modifications are risk-free," Dr. Shearer said.
Still, statin use is skyrocketing. Doctors wrote more than 200 million prescriptions for cholesterol drugs last year. Usage doubled over the last decade, but it remains to be seen whether these new marketing strategies will mean more people will take the drugs.
"My prediction is it will not be widely accepted by the medical community," said Dr. Matthew Wolff, UW Hospital cardiologist.
Dr. Wolff says prescribing statins to people with little to no risk factors won't have a significant health impact, and will likely end up costing a lot of money.
"I think that's where the controversy arises -- it applies to the risk, but maybe more importantly to the expense of the drug. When you talk about treating potentially millions of people, you're only going to see a modest reduction in heart attacks, strokes, and deaths in the United States," Dr. Wolff said.
Both Shearer and Wolff say best advice for people is to have a one-on-one conversation with their doctor.
The new Crestor label says it may be prescribed for men over 50, and women over 60, who have one risk factor like smoking or hypertension.
Sun. - Fri. on FOX 47 News at 9!
Top Health Headlines (foxnews.com)
|Ebola outbreak 'out of control,' says CDC director|
Just back from a week in the Ebola hot zone, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Tom Frieden had a dire assessment of the situation on the ground there.
|Liberia health care workers strike, complicating Ebola fight|
Scores of health care workers at Liberia's main hospital have gone on strike over unpaid wages, complicating the fight against the world's worst Ebola epidemic that the U.S. disease prevention chief said was spiraling out of control.
|American doctor in Liberia tests positive for Ebola, organization says|
An American missionary doctor in Liberia who was not treating Ebola patients has tested positive for the virus, SIM USA confirmed.
|Japan battles first dengue fever outbreak in 70 years|
A dengue fever outbreak has hit Japan for the first time in over 70 years with at least 22 confirmed cases, BBC News reported.
|Louisiana boy born without brain dies at age 12|
After defying all odds, a boy born without a brain passed away Monday at age 12, reported KSLA News 12.
Tonight on FOX 47
5:00pm Two and a Half Men
5:30pm Big Bang Theory
6:00pm Modern Family
6:30pm Big Bang Theory
8:00pm New Girl
8:30pm The Mindy Project
9:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
9:35pm Modern Family
10:05pm Two and a Half Men
10:35pm Everybody Loves Raymond
11:05pm The Arsenio Hall Show