AstraZeneca’s statin drug Crestor has been given the green light by the FDA to be prescribed as a preventative measure to help lower cholesterol levels in healthy people. In the past Crestor has only been prescribed to people that were suffering from health problems due to elevated or dangerously high levels of Cholesterol. Crestor has been in the news before and not for good reasons. In recent years the FDA has forced an in-box warning for Crestor. Apparently there is a small chance of severe adverse side effects. The two main reactions of concern are renal failure and Rhabdomyolysis which is the destruction of the muscle leads to the release of the breakdown products of damaged muscle cells into the bloodstream; some of these, such as myoglobin (a protein), are harmful to the kidney and may lead to acute kidney failure.
The chances of these adverse reactions occurring is in the millions but since these drugs are now going to be prescribed to millions of healthy Americans then the possibility of healthy people to suffer these terrible injures is almost assured. Kidney failure is nothing to sneeze at. Having to go through the dialysis treatment everyday just to stay alive and the costs associated with this type of injury are huge. Where is the simple treatment of prevention with exercise and healthy eating? The chances of adverse drug reactions with this type of preventative medicine is zero. Not only that but healthy eating plus exercise has far more physical and psychological benefits than any cholesterol lowering drug can provide. In fact no single drug can give those benefits. These benefits are also far cheaper on the health care system than having millions of people on prescription drugs just to off set the chance of high cholesterol. Given the new health care bill it is imperative that this kind of preventative prescription never happens or the cost will crush any cost savings benefits.