Thursday, January 25, 2007

Pfizer Withdraws Potential Blockbuster Drug

Recently the drug company Pfizer withdrew it's potential blockbuster drug torcetrapib from phase III clinical trials due to the INCREASED number of heart attacks occuring with its use. This experimental drug was supposed to hold the key to their financial future for the next several years after patents for their current 13 billion dollar drug, Lipitor, runs out. Torcetrapib which belongs to a new class of cholesterol medications that raises the "good cholesterol" known as HDL was touted by cardiologists to be the next major advancement in the treatment of heart disease. While no one denies the importance of having adequate levels of HDL, do we really have to spend billions and billions of dollars to find out how a drug can elevate this? We already know that exercise can significantly increase HDL and well as the VITAMIN niacin. I have heard a number of physicians over the past two days justify the need for these new drugs, specifically, because of the SIDE EFFECTS from niacin. Side effects from a vitamin are bad, but from a drug are acceptable. What's wrong with this picture!!! Niacin in its naturally occuring state produces ONLY flushing and itching. That is it. No nausea, vomitting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, dizziness, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, or death; i.e. typical side effects of some current main stream drugs on the market. Why are we not spending all this money on preventing heart disease by promoting prevention through lifestyle changes? Dietary modification and exercise are two of the most crucial aspects when looking at heart disease. In addition, niacin can always be added when these two fail. Insurance companies, if smarter, would require their customers to enroll in exercise programs in order to qualify for discounted rates. They should hold lectures and seminars in teaching people the right way to eat. Ulimately this saves everyone time and money while improving overall quality of life. The billions of dollars spent on this particular project truly seems like an absolute waste of time and money. This is an injustice to our people and continues to be the reason why health care costs are out of control in the US. Why focus on treating underlying causes when there is so much money to be made on prolonging the condtion and treating side effects from medications with other medications.......



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home