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10Jul 2013

NY Times hails 'blockbuster' cholesterol drug! (Yes, there's a catch.)

Paul Raeburn

The first three grafs of Gina Kolata's page 1 story in today's New York Times tell of a 32-year-old aerobics instructor and a Zimbabwean woman whose LDL cholesterol was at a level so low it was "unheard-of."

And the story continues:

Paragraph 4 says the discovery of these women "has set off one of the greatest medical chases ever" for a new drug to prevent heart attacks.

Paragraph 5: A drug-company official says "This is our top priority."

Paragraph 6: A government scientist says the drug "might be used by one in four adults."

Paragraph 7, Kolata says the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins are "far from a panacea."

The thing sounds spectacular. Should I call my father and tell him to ask his doctor about it? Will his insurance cover it?

My mistake was to stay with the story for one more graf: Paragraph 8. It takes that long to get to this:

Studies that would tell whether the drugs actually prevent heart attacks and deaths are only starting.

And this, in Paragraph 36:

The drug "is likely years from approval."

I didn't really think about calling my father. I know better.

-Paul Raeburn


I urge readers to take a look at Gary Schwitzer's post, which adds more comprehensive analysis to my brief post.


See our Health News Watchdog blog post -

Gary Schwitzer


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