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We can’t prevent heart attacks, but we can help with bragging rights

imagesWhile watching tv last night I was blasted with the usual bombardment of drug company ads informing me that I’m on the verge of death and dysfunction unless I start popping the right combination of pills. Included in one of the commercials was an unusual disclosure.

The ad was for a drug called Trilipix made by Abbott Labs. Trilipix (along with diet and exercise!) apparently helps lower “bad” cholesterol and increase “good” cholesterol.

Who should take Trilipix? Here’s what the website says:

TRILIPIX is also used along with diet to lower triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol in people who are at high risk of heart disease and are taking a statin medicine to control their LDL cholesterol.

OK, so you take it along with a statin to help prevent heart disease and the consequences of heart disease, namely heart attack or stroke.

Now here’s the first disclosure:

TRILIPIX has not been shown to prevent heart attacks or stroke more than a statin alone.

So why should people take this drug and subject themselves to the significant list of side effects? I’m not a doctor or a pharmacist, but this looks like it helps your cholesterol numbers without improving your chances of living a longer life.

It seems these days that people compete over cholesterol levels like its a game show. The winners used to be the people with the lowest cholesterol. Then we found out that some cholesterol is good and things got more complicated. Now we’re inventing drugs that give you nothing but cholesterol bragging rights. You’ll just have to ignore that headache, heartburn, nausea, and muscle aching.

7 Comments

  1. Kimberly

    January 12, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    The number of commercials for drugs seems to be increasing. My husband and I usually watch the commercials shaking our heads in disbelief that they are even allowed on the air let alone the number of side effects listed. I especially dislike the commercials with adult content for Viagra style drugs or E.D. drugs that are shown during the afternoon and early evening while the kids are watching television. I’m just waiting for one of my young children to ask me “what’s erectile mean?” or some other question that will ask me to explain these types of commercials to children that should never see them. I’m all for regulating these ads.

  2. Jeff

    January 12, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Good catch Adam.

    This is the same advertising ploy I saw as a child watching Saturday morning cartoons. Except then, it was Cookie Crisp and Coco Puffs competeing for my attention and my parents dollar. What it all boils down to is common sense. You either have it or you get your doctor to write you a script for every drug you see on TV. It also means that patients need to take a more active role in their own health care and live with in the means of their own bodies. If you have a disorder or disease take a minute or two to understand what you need to do. Diet and exercise, plus a healthy dose of personal responsibility goes a long way in preventitive medicine. Then see your doctor as needed.

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  4. Dave Jerrido

    January 13, 2010 at 9:19 am

    It’s amazing how all these drugs have a disclaimer of being effective “along with diet and exercise”. Hmmm…makes me wonder: can you get results with just good diet and exercise without popping all the pills? I, for one, hate taking pills mainly because I have trouble swallowing them. If I’m ever given a prescription, I ask for the liquid alternative. But I feel I don’t have to worry about medicine at all if I can just perform a lifestyle change in my eating habits and exercise on a regular basis. When I had a membership to the YMCA and was attending regularly, I was fine. I had to discontinue the membership due to cost and change in my work schedule. Now, my blood pressure is starting to creep up. It’s my own fault for not creating another exercise regime for myself. When we can start taking personal responsibility and implement more preventitive measures, we can stick it to the big drug companies and therefore help with the overall cost of healthcare.

  5. AdamL

    January 13, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Agreed, I like the “diet and exercise” disclaimer.

  6. Lou Meyers

    January 13, 2010 at 11:11 am

    When I was a kid, drug commercials were outlawed and my working class parents never complained about the cost of health care.

    Yes Kimberly, those media controlling commercials have increased — the Victorious Kings of Big Pharma, Big Insurance and Big Medicine have settled back into their thrones after a successful campaign to beat back the threat from the middle class. Now they are preparing to punish us for our insurrection — how dare us to believe that we should be entitled to affordable health care!

    Onward to Single Payer!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NAnzAlIWi0

  7. IBXer

    January 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm