Conventional wisdom has held that some types of cholesterol may help prevent heart disease, but government researchers have found evidence to the contrary. The findings could change the way doctors treat millions of heart patients.
Well, it seems that Pfizer is ready to move on from that embarrassing “Dr. Jarvik is not actually licensed to practice medicine” kerfuffle back in February. The company pulled its Lipitor spots after Congress became very interested in whether or not the ads were misleading the public into believing that Dr. Jarvik was qualified to offer medical advice — and that he was really rowing that boat. Now, theWall Street Journal has a tantalizing preview of the new “Dr. Jarvik Free” Lipitor ad. The spot features a regular person named John — a heart attack survivor who urges you to learn from his example and be more proactive about controlling your cholesterol (with Lipitor, damn it! Lipitor!).
A clinical trial of Zetia, a popularly prescribed cholesterol-lowering drug, “failed to show that the drug has any medical benefits.” In fact, fatty plaques grew almost twice as fast in patients who took Zetia along with Zocor in a combo product called Vytorin. However, “patients who are taking Vytorin or Zetia should talk to their doctors if they are concerned and not discontinue taking the medicines on their own.” [New York Times]
12 million Californians are at a greater risk for cancer and other major diseases thanks to HMOs that fail to provide adequate preventive care, according to a Health Care Quality Report Card produced by the California Patient’s Advocate.