Take statin drugs “when diet and exercise are not enough”

Is it just me, or does this Italian cholesterol drug ad for the Novartis statin called Lescol (fluvastatina in Italian) look like it’s telling cute fat Italians that they can eat, drink, and be merry as long as they pop this statin drug every day?

6 thoughts on “Take statin drugs “when diet and exercise are not enough”

  1. This makes me so glad that advertising prescription-only medications to the general public is still not permitted here in Australia.

    Heaven knows, the drug company reps already do a good enough job selling Big Pharma’s ‘latest and greatest’ to our Doctors.

  2. “When diet and exercise alone are not enough.’

    There’s something contradictory about the the current tv ad (that I see in Los Angeles) for Lipitor, which shows a cyclist first talking about his inability to control his cholesterol numbers with diet alone.

    So now he’s taking Lipitor, he tells us, and he’s started chowing down on healthier food and exercising more. Seconds earlier, though, he told us his diet and exercise weren’t working. Which begs the question: why didn’t just exercise more and eat better? THEN if he couldn’t get his cholesterol numbers down, he could start the statin.

    If the “cyclist” is eating better and exercising more now, how does he – or anyone, including my doctor, who’s prescribed a high statin dose for me – know that the cyclist’s cholesterol numbers wouldn’t be fine WITHOUT Lipitor.

    How would the cyclist know that it’s Lipitor that’s lowering his risk of a heart attack, and not his better lifestyle? He doesn’t. Nor do anyone else, including the people at Pfizer. There is and has never been such a study looking at that question. Pfizer does not need to know the answer to sell Lipitor.

    By omission, the ad is lying to us.

    • You are absolutely correct, Dave. The fine print on the package insert disclaimer for Lipitor, in fact, reads: “Therapy with lipid-altering agents should be only one component of multiple risk factor intervention in individuals at significantly increased risk for atherosclerotic vascular disease due to hypercholesterolemia. Drug therapy is recommended as an adjunct to diet when the response to a diet restricted in saturated fat and cholesterol and other nonpharmacologic measures alone has been inadequate.”

      Lipitor has now officially lost its patent protection, opening up the market to cheaper generic versions. Pfizer until recently has been spending $11 billion annually on promoting its #1 seller (not including the fees and expenses for media placement, vendors, number crunchers, etc.)

      The reality is that drug companies are not in business to convince patients to embrace lifestyle improvements like diet and exercise. They are in business to convince your doctor to whip out his/her prescription pad and prescribe their drug – and ONLY their drug – to you.

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