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Pharmaceutical Propaganda and corruption: Cholesterol panel has drugmaker ties

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Cholesterol panel has drugmaker ties
Provided by United Press International on 7/15/2004
Source: Healthy News

NEW YORK, Jul 15, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A government panel's guidelines urging the use of statins to lower cholesterol in certain cases neglected to mention the panel's link with the drug.

Aggressive statin medications were recommended for people at high risk of a heart attack.

Not mentioned, however, Newsday said, was that six of the nine panelists had received grants or fees from companies that produce some of the most popular statins on the market.

Those drugs include Pfizer's Lipitor. Bristol-Myers Squibb's Pravachol, Merck's Lovastatin and AstraZeneca's Crestor.

Dr. James Cleeman, coordinator of the national Cholesterol Education Program, a division of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, called the omission of financial disclosures an oversight that would be added to the institute's Web site.

Such financial links to drug companies were printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association when the original guidelines were published three years ago.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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