Do you get out of bed in the morning and go about your normal business? Work a certain number of hours, perhaps followed by a bit of recreational activity and then return to bed? Do you seem trapped in an endless cycle of waking and sleeping, eating, inhaling and exhaling, with nothing at all interfering with these basic life functions?
If so, you may be perfectly healthy. And you should talk to your doctor about Crestor.
Crestor is a medicine used to treat high cholesterol, but even if your cholesterol is within the normal range, the people at AstraZeneca think you might want to take it anyway. To treat inflammation. Specifically, Crestor is about to be marketed to people with an abnormal C-reactive protein test, which measures the level of inflammation in the body and is on the verge of being declared a risk factor for heart disease.
According to a story in yesterday's New York Times, the inventor of the C-reactive protein test, Dr. Paul M. Ridker, originally went to the National Institutes of Health with a proposal to study how C-reactive protein ties into risk for heart attacks and strokes. And was turned down. Pfizer and Bayer also rejected his ideas. But like Christopher Columbus, that maverick explorer who persisted because he knew he was right, Dr. Ridker persisted and was vindicated. He eventually found a patron to sponsor a study, led by him, that showed that yes, there was a significantly significant link between an abnormal C-reactive protein test and cardiovascular events.
"Significantly significant" however, does not mean "large." There is a statistically significant correlation between living in California and getting bitten by a rattlesnake, but would you spend $1500 a year to lower your lifetime risk of a rattlesnake bite from 0.37% to 0.17%? Or would you just take precautions to avoid surprising a rattlesnake when you're outside?
AstraZeneca would probably tell you it would be ridiculous to cough up $1500 bucks every year for some high-tech rattlesnake repellent. Because the money isn't going to them. When you and your insurance company are writing checks to cover your daily Crestor when you are not sick however, I'm sure AstraZeneca would tell you you are being proactive and smart about your health. At a cost of $638,000 for every heart attack prevented.
Until you get that weird muscle pain, and your urine gets really dark. Then maybe you weren't being so smart about your health. Not to mention there's also some indication statins may increase your risk for type II diabetes. I'd be really pissed if I spent $1500 a year on some rattlesnake repellent that made me more attractive to mountain lions.
Oh, and Dr. Ridker receives "undisclosed amounts" of royalties from the C-reactive protein test he invented. Which totally made him the best person to lead the study that found the link betwen C-reactive protein and heart disease. You always get the best science when the lead researcher can make a shitload of money by proving a specific conclusion.
Remember this when you see the upcoming ad blitz for Crestor, and the commercials for my new rattlesnake repellent.
I think I'll call it Rattenov™