NEJM: JUPITER trial…or how the drug companies pulled the wool over our eyes

Earlier this month, the NEJM published the results of the JUPITER trial which took patients with normal LDL, but elevated levels hs-CRP and randomized them to placebo or rosuvastatin.  The authors state the trial of 17,000 patients was stopped early, at year because of five, because rosuvastatin reduced the number of major cardiovascular events.

I have to thank Colin P Kopes-Kerr for pointing out the the lead author in the study also holds the patent for hs-CRP test and thus would have another dog in the fight each time a hs-CRP test is ordered.  Don’t you doubt for a minute that the pharmacutal company, who sponsored the study and had their minions monitoring the 1316 sites of this multi-center trial, forgot about the results either.

Rosuvastatin

Rosuvastatin

Rosuvastatin is more than $100 a month.  The results stated that the NNT is 95.  So you would need to give 95 patients rosuvastatin for 2 years to prevent one MI, stroke, hospitalization for UA or death.  That is just $228,000.  Chump change.

Maybe we should just put statins in the water.  However, then we wouldn’t be practicing medicine, just providing lining to the pharmaceutical companies without actually informing the patient of more effective less costly interventions like diet, exercise and smoking cessation (which have alway been unpopular anyway).  At the least when the pharmacutical companies through several million dollars at a study you get some pretty graphs.  I advise reading the article yourself to come up with your own conclusions.

Pretty graphs

Pretty graphs

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