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Originally published July 12 2004

Health officials launch the great statin marketing con by announcing that tens of millions of people suddenly need lower cholesterol

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

It's the pharmaceutical industry's marketing hype machine in full action: a new announcement that all of a sudden everybody should pursue drastically lower cholesterol levels. Previously, the recommended level was 130. Now it's suddenly 100, and can you guess what people are being urged to do in order to achieve this new level? They're all supposed to take statin drugs of course!

This is one of the most blatant public health scams in recent memory. It's not a stretch to call it a marketing conspiracy involving pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, and health organizations like the American Heart Association (which, of course, receives millions of dollars in annual funding from drug companies). Here's how the scam works:

The AHA or other organizations announce new "guidelines" for cholesterol, but instead of recommending that people exercise and change their diets to achieve these lower levels, they recommend that everybody take statin drugs. Physicians follow along dutifully, helped by under-the-table bribes and kickbacks from drug companies. Consumers and their health insurance companies foot the bill, pouring literally billions of dollars into the coffers of statin manufacturers. Later, a portion of that money will be donated back to the AHA and other national health organizations as part of the drug company's "public service" efforts.

It's a blatant con, but it works. Tens of millions of people fall for it, and physicians are tripping over each other trying to be the latest to announce that they, too, are going to take statin drugs for life!

Of course, it's all bunk. Statins are extremely dangerous drugs with serious side effects including sudden death and the massive disruption of hormones (like sex hormones). Some statins have already been pulled from the market, and more will undoubtedly follow as the statistics start to pour in from widespread use. These drugs interfere with the normal healthy functioning of the human body, and they have no place in the life of a person attempting to achieve lasting health.

Yet pharmaceutical companies, western doctors and even the press talk about these drugs as if they were miracle pills. It sounds a lot like quackery to me: some organizations like the American Diabetes Association even recommend statin drugs without a shred of evidence that they help diabetics at all! Statins are the medical equivalent of the dot-com boom, and the statin bubble is going to burst someday after their side effects become public knowledge.

What else is amazing about all this is the unwillingness of the press to even mention nutrition and exercise as a way to lower cholesterol. It's like lifestyle changes aren't even in the picture. This NY Times article mentions nothing but drugs, drugs, drugs. Could that be because the article shares the web page with a giant tower banner for Crestor (see right), a statin drug? These statin drug manufacturers pour hundreds of millions of dollars into advertising, and there's little doubt that publishers are, in many ways, slaves to the editorial interests of the advertisers.

You can't honestly say this is a balanced piece of reporting. What is it really? Marketing propaganda for prescription drugs parading as news.


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