Popular Statin Increases Risk of Diabetes
A commonly used statin carries a high risk of potentially harmful side effects and can ultimately lead to diabetes. The drugs are the most habitually prescribed by the National Health Service, with up to ten million people in England taking them on a regular basis. Statins are a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels.
Side Effects Associated with Rosuvastatin
According to the Daily Mail, there is mounting evidence of weak benefits along with serious problems associated with rosuvastatin (Crestor), although it is considered to be the best statin on the market for lowering cholesterol.
Dr. Sidney Wolfe, founder and senior adviser to U.S. civil rights group Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, said its approval to counteract heart attacks in a very select group of people, was based on the results of a study which was stopped early on in the process. Wolfe added that has led to concern that the treatment effects may have been greatly overestimated.
The Research Group attempted to get the drug banned ten years ago because of muscle and kidney problems. Other severe side effects include rhabdomyolysis (a rare condition that causes muscle cells to break down) and renal trauma.
Should Patients Continue Using Statins?
Many British medical experts believe that patients that were prescribed rosuvastatin should not stop taking it, and are on it for a very good reason. Rosuvastatin is more costly than other statins and is one of the least commonly prescribed in the U.K. The drug is generally prescribed for a minuscule number of people at high risk of a heart attack or stroke, and who cannot tolerate the older statins.
Dr. Wolfe commented that worldwide 2013 sales of the medication were £5.5billion (8.2 billion U.S. dollars), the third highest for any pharmaceutical product. Wolfe also accused advertising campaigns of exploiting the drug's potency, despite well-established, solid proof of rosuvastatin’s comparative lack of clinical benefits and increasing evidence of risk.
The drug’s patent expires in 2016 and Wolfe expressed hope that this would lead to a sharp decline in its use. The NHS estimates that statins save approximately 7,000 lives per year. A spokesman for the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency stated that statins are safe and effective, and people should continue to take their medicines as prescribed.