American Heart Association Proposes Major Increase in Statin Usage

Last month the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued new guidelines that will significantly increase the number of individuals prescribed statin drugs.

Statin drugs, including Lipitor®, have historically been prescribed to patients for cholesterol management. The new guidelines increase the percentage of the population that would take statin drugs, citing wider health benefits such as a reduced risk of heart attack, heart disease and stroke. According to a report published in the New York Times, this expanded recommendation will increase the number of healthy people to be prescribed statin drugs by up to 70 percent.

While this may sound good, this new recommendation is not without its critics. Due to a lack of supporting, objective data and a host of potentially dangerous side effects, John D. Abramson, a lecturer at Harvard Medical School and Rita F. Redberg, a cardiologist at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, expressed major concerns in an editorial published in the New York Times. They conclude that, "Patients should be skeptical about the guidelines, and have a meaningful dialogue with their doctors about statins, including what the evidence does and does not show, before deciding what is best for them."

In my opinion, one of the most alarming side effects of statin usage is an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, especially in women. A 2012 drug safety communication from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported serious health risks for patients using statins, including worsening glycemic control which could lead to the development of diabetes. As a result of this study, statin drug packaging was then updated to include these risks. Prior to this time, Lipitor's® labeling failed to warn patients of any correlation between taking the drug and changes in blood sugar levels. Despite data suggesting that Lipitor® was linked to the development of Type 2 diabetes in women, the drug was marketed as safe and effective.

At Crumley Roberts, we represent individuals who developed Type 2 diabetes after taking Lipitor® to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today to find out if we can help you.

Never stop taking any medication without first consulting your doctor.

Lipitor® is a registered trademark of Pfizer, Inc. and is used here only to identify the product in question.

This law firm is not associated with, sponsored by, or affiliated with Pfizer, Inc., the American Hearth Association, the American College of Cardiology or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Brian Kinsley is the Mass Tort/Products Liability Practice Group Leader at Crumley Roberts. He is a Massachusetts native but now calls Winston-Salem, North Carolina home. When not at work, he enjoys cooking and spending time outdoors with his family.

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