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

images [1]While 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 [2] 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.