How statin drug makers lie to consumers in magazine ads

Monday, July 26, 2004
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
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One of the most important ways for pharmaceutical companies to sell more prescription drugs is to alter the belief systems of patients so that they believe they absolutely need these drugs in order to achieve certain health goals. Here we're going to look at an advertisement for a statin drug that appeared in a men's fitness magazine. This was a full-page ad, and as you'll see from this analysis, the intent of the ad is to mislead readers -- give them belief systems that will automatically result in them going to their doctor and requesting these statin drugs. So first, let's take a look at what the ad actually says. Here's the opening paragraph:

"Most of the cholesterol inside you doesn't come from the food you eat, but from your body's own natural processes. Diet and exercise are an excellent first step to lower cholesterol, but the fact is, many people with high cholesterol just plain need more help. That's why you should ask your doctor about (drug name)."

Now, let's take a look at this more carefully. The first sentence says that the cholesterol inside your body doesn't come from the food you eat, but from your body's own metabolic processes. This is true, and in fact, this is why blocking the production of cholesterol with an outside drug can be extremely dangerous to your health. Cholesterol is a essential chemical for normal, healthy body function, and when you block cholesterol by taking a statin drug, you also block many of the hormones that are manufactured from cholesterol, such as the sex hormones. Blocking production of cholesterol causes all sorts of other problems that I've listed in a short article called "The Statin Drugs Side Effect List". Here, you'll see that statin drugs can cause mental confusion, loss of memory, and extreme pain in muscles when trying to walk, along with many other side effects. Again, these side effects are caused by using an outside chemical agent to try to control the body chemistry that your body normally balances on its own, and the first sentence of this ad even hints at that by saying the cholesterol is generated by your body. That's a clue that we shouldn't try to alter it with chemicals.

The next sentence says, "Diet and exercise are an excellent first step to lower cholesterol," and this is the sentence that is the most misleading of all. The purpose of this sentence is clearly to instill a belief system in people that altering their diet and engaging in regular physical exercise will not, by itself, lower their cholesterol to healthy levels -- and that statement is a lie. In fact, diet and exercise are the best ways to lower your cholesterol, and if your cholesterol is too high, it simply means you're not doing enough in terms of diet and exercise. What this sentence attempts to do is say that, sure, you can try diet and you can try exercise, but until you take drugs, you're not going to reach your lower cholesterol goals. So this statement is a fantastic distortion of reality, and it is, in effect, an attempt to brainwash readers into believing they really don't have control over their cholesterol.

The next sentence feeds into this by saying, "The fact is, many people with high cholesterol just plain need more help." What this sentence is really saying is not that people need more help, but that they need statin drugs, and more specifically, this particular statin drug being advertised. This sentence also is a lie. Many people with high cholesterol don't need statin drugs -- they need to return to the fundamentals of health and nutrition by altering the foods they eat, avoiding all foods that cause high cholesterol, such as fried foods and foods containing hydrogenated oils, and they need to engage in a regular physical exercise program. By doing that, and that alone, virtually everyone will attain and maintain a healthy cholesterol level. It's also interesting that in this third sentence, the ad says people "plain need more help." That's an attempt to tell you that this drug is somehow helping you out, like it's doing you a favor -- what a nice company to offer to help you!

In fact, they're saying you just plain need more drugs, not help. Because this is a company, like all pharmaceutical companies, that is primarily interested in profits, and the way to generate profits is to sell more prescription drugs. And, of course, the way to sell more drugs is to run full-page advertisements, just like this one, that give people misinformation, causing them to go to their doctor and ask about these brand-name prescription drugs, which are frequently sold at sky-high prices. You have to remember that before 1998, it was illegal for pharmaceutical companies to run full-page ads like this. It's called "direct to consumer" advertising, and it was allowed by the FDA in 1998 after pressure from the pharmaceutical companies, who, of course, wanted to expand their markets by advertising drugs directly to consumers. And this is the result of that regulatory change by the FDA: full-page advertisements that essentially lie to consumers in order to trick them into requesting prescription drugs rather than modifying their diet and lifestyle choices in a way that supports optimum human health.

And this ad is just one of many such ads that appear in magazines, newspapers, cable news programs, and websites. The pharmaceutical industry has aggressively marketed drugs like this one to consumers in order to maximize their profits and dominate the market. In fact, pharmaceutical companies spend far more money on marketing and promotion than they do on R&D. Even though they say most of the money paid by customers for prescription drugs goes to R&D, that's not the case at all. Far more money is spent on advertisements like this one -- ads that attempt to misinform the public.

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About the author: Mike Adams is a natural health author and award-winning journalist with a strong interest in personal health, the environment and the power of nature to help us all heal He is a prolific writer and has published thousands of articles, interviews, reports and consumer guides, and he is well known as the creator of popular downloadable preparedness programs on financial collapse, emergency food storage, wilderness survival and home defense skills. Adams is an independent journalist with strong ethics who does not get paid to write articles about any product or company. In 2010, Adams launched TV.NaturalNews.com, a natural health video site featuring videos on holistic health and green living. He's also the founder of a well known HTML email software company whose 'Email Marketing Director' software currently runs the NaturalNews subscription database. Adams also serves as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a non-profit consumer protection group, and practices nature photography, Capoeira, martial arts and organic gardening. He's also author a large number of health books offered by Truth Publishing and is the creator of numerous reference website including NaturalPedia.com and the free downloadable Honest Food Guide. His websites also include the free reference sites HerbReference.com and HealingFoodReference.com. Adams believes in free speech, free access to nutritional supplements and the innate healing ability of the human body. Known on the 'net as 'the Health Ranger,' Adams shares his ethics, mission statements and personal health statistics at www.HealthRanger.org

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