Millions of people continue to take medications even after sophisticated published medical studies have shown that the medicines do not work as intended.
Among these millions is, apparently, John McCain, Republican candidate for President.
The New York Times reports…
Mr. McCain has undergone each year since 2000, stress tests show no evidence of heart disease, and “his doctors consider him in very good health,” his campaign staff said in a recent statement.
The campaign also said Mr. McCain regularly took Vytorin to lower his cholesterol, a baby aspirin to help prevent heart attacks, a multivitamin and, occasionally, Claritin or Flonase for allergies.
So how effective is Vytorin?
After an almost two-year delay, Merck and Schering-Plough finally released partial data from their own two-year study of Vytorin called “Enhance. This study tested their drug on 720 patients with high cholesterol. The “surprise” results revealed that Vytorin was no more effective than a high dose of one of its components, Zocor, which is available in the generic form at one-third of the cost! Vytorin’s annual sales of about $5 billion likely justified the “delay” in releasing the results of the “Enhance” study, in the minds of its makers.
Despite the companies claim of acting with “integrity and good faith” law suits are piling up in several states over allegations they misled consumers into thinking the drugs were more effective than generics.
It really is enough to make me wonder about the wisdom of placing the future of the American health care system into the hands of a man whose own personal physicians remain unaware of current research regarding the medicines used by their most famous patient.
The wise use of medications is not more medicine and it is not less medicine, it is the use of medicine based on evidence rather the business strategies of multi-national pharmaceutical companies.