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Is Your Doctor Clueless About How to Lower Cholesterol?

Pfizer, which stands to lose billions of dollars if health plans continue to encourage patients to switch from their statin drug Lipitor to the cheaper generic Zocor, is trying to get a letter-writing campaign started to change the policies.

Pfizer has been sending doctors a CD containing two letters -- one to send to health plans and one to send to pharmacists.

The letters state that switching from Lipitor to a generic statin for cost reasons will undermine doctors' clinical judgment.

Using generic statins can save health care plans millions of dollars each year. The switch saves plans $70 to $80 a month per patient

USA Today April 3, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

Considering how damaging and life-threatening taking Lipitor or any other statin can be to your health, it's hard to believe that your doctor may be vigorously defending his or her right to prescribe them to patients anyway.

But then again it is not surprising at all if you have been reading this newsletter for awhile. If you have you will realize that the drug companies essentially control the health care system. They fund the majority of the studies and then lobby Congress, control the FDA and manipulate the system by hiring key legislators into lucrative jobs after they finish their political terms.

Very sweet deal for drug companies like Pfizer that have billions to play with to control the system and further increase their bottom line.

For the most part this is all very quietly done without any understanding or appreciation by the typical physician who is naively along for the ride, all the while believing they are providing the best service possible for their patients. Most of them are perfectly clueless to the underlying reality that they are unknowing pawns of the multinational drug giants.

Sidney Wolfe, of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, had it right when he described Pfizer's current campaign as a means to use doctors as "human shields" to protect their coffers from running low on cash. Please remember that Pfizer is the largest drug company on the planet.

Pfizer is worried because Zocor slid over to generic status last summer. However, even though some 2.5 million prescriptions were written for the generic drug, Lipitor still controlled the statin market with a 43 percent share.

The fact is that statins should not be prescribed at all to over 99 percent of those that are on them.

Statins kill people -- lots of people -- and they wound many, many more. All patients taking statins become depleted in Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) eventually -- those patients who start with relatively low CoQ10 levels (the elderly and patients with heart failure) begin to manifest signs/symptoms of CoQ10 deficiency relatively rapidly -- in six to 12 months. Younger patients can tolerate the statins for several years before they begin developing symptoms.

What's more, controlling your cholesterol without drugs is one of the simplest things to achieve. A primary step is to reduce or eliminate grains and sugars from your daily diet and take a high-quality fish or krill oil daily.

Additionally, if you are a man, or a woman who is in menopause, you should check your iron levels, as elevated levels of iron can raise cholesterol levels and cause major oxidative damage in the blood vessels, heart and other organs. Excess iron is also one of the major contributing factors of cancer risk. Although normalizing your iron will not lower your cholesterol, it will certainly lower your risk of a future coronary event.

Regular exercise is another important tool that may reduce your risk of heart disease.

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