The FDA has dished out some pretty bad advice over the years... but this one takes the cake: Crestor, a cholesterol-lowering statin drug, has been approved for completely healthy people with normal cholesterol levels.
I warned you this day would come... but that doesn't make this dose of bad news any easier to take.
Under the new guidelines, docs can now give this dangerous drug to people with "other" risk factors for heart problems –-such as elevated levels of C-reactive protein.
But this decision didn't come after an exhaustive series of studies... and it wasn't based on the overwhelming body of scientific evidence.
It was made based on a single study funded by the drug's maker. Not only that, but they pulled the plug on this study two years early--essentially the moment they got the result they wanted.
And even then, the researchers didn't uncover any real stunners. In fact, a recent article in the New York Times points out that 500 people would have to take Crestor for an entire year--at a combined cost of $638,000--to avoid a single usually survivable heart attack.
That's a lot of prescriptions--and a lot of money--for not much benefit. Those pills cost $3.50 each--and you'll be paying for them whether or not you actually take Crestor, since the FDA approval means insurance companies will have to cover it. That can lead to higher premiums for everyone, and more money will be needed for taxpayer-funded medical plans.
Of course, it's not about cost alone--most of us would gladly pay nearly any price for something that could truly help us to live longer, healthier lives.
But statins aren't going to do that for you.
These meds have been linked to debilitating muscle pain, liver damage and even an increased risk of diabetes. And they're not even the best way to achieve their original goal of lower cholesterol levels.
Lifestyle changes will beat these meds every single time. You don't need to make dramatic changes--just simple choices like eating better and getting more movement into your life will do the trick.
The time to act is now--before your own doctor begins pressuring you to take these meds.
Then again, even if you're perfectly healthy, you can expect to hear a statin sales pitch any day now thanks to the FDA.