High dose statins lead to cancer

The results of a large meta-analysis of statin trials were released tonight on CNBC - to be published in JACC - although I don't see it the ACC website and haven't received the journal yet. This hasn't gotten much play yet today - but is potentially huge. This will make doctors and patients question the entire

This data that lowering lipids too far may be bad isn't all that surprising. After all, in trial like TNT   and IDEAL (comparing 10 to 80 of Lipitor and simva vs high dose lipitor) there was no mortality benefit for the higher dose. At the time we all wondered quietly what that meant- fear that the drugs might prevent heart attacks and kill people in other ways.

The new lower goals have made the newer more potent statins- Lipitor, Crestor, and Vytorin (which is only half a statin) necessary. Part of the fall out from this news will sure be a return to weaker and cheaper statins. Like the generics Pravachol and simva. I doubt Zetia will get any benefit. It wasn't included in the trial- so we don't have any reason to believe it causes these outcomes. But we also have no reason to believe the drug prevents heart attacks or does anything beneficial at all- since there are no outcome trials at all with this product.

In the interest of full disclosure- I shorted PFE and SGP this evening- already short MRK (and feeling a little stupid about it after today move).


By the way, the article on CNBCs site is at http://www.cnbc.com/id/19916998

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  • Anonymous

    July 24, 2007

    One would think that this news would cause Pfizer, Astra, Merck, Schering and the entire industry to fall today, but they stocks are holding strong pre-market.

  • Anonymous

    July 25, 2007

    I read that a Morgan Stanley analyst said that this is not a factor for the stocks as it isn't going to change doctors' prescribing behavior.

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