Most experts who promote cholesterol lowering drugs have made money from producers
17 Jul 2004
Source: Medical News Today
Most of the experts who tell us to take cholesterol lowering drugs have made money from pharmaceutical companies that produce them, say consumer groups.
Cholesterol lowering drugs sell well – a whopping $26 billion around the world in 2003. This year the figure is expected to be much higher. They are the best selling drugs on the market today.
Nine of the USA’s top cholesterol experts wrote the new guidelines which were issued by the American Heart Association and the US government.
The guidelines focus in reducing the number of heart attacks in the USA.
Of those nine experts, six have received money from producers of cholesterol lowering drugs. They received money for consultations, making speeches and carrying out research.
Experts say that 7 million more Americans will probably be taking pills to lower their cholesterol levels as a result of the new guidelines. There are already 36 million.
James Cleeman, National Cholesterol Education Program Coordinator, said that advising high risk heart patients to lower their LDL is good advice, regardless of connections to the drug industry by the people who wrote the guidelines.
Some people have responded to the accusations by saying that any top expert in any field of medicine will have connections with many organisations, some of which will be pharmaceutical companies that carry out research – they would not be top experts otherwise.