Recent Crestor™ Studies - Criticism

The JUPITER article in the New England Journal of Medicine was accompanied by an editorial (reference 2), that dampened the results by pointing out several additional (in addition to Risk Reduction) aspects of the study. The editorial points out that the absolute number of people impacted by taking crestor was miniscule. To put it simply in round numbers, 2 people out of a hundred had a cardiovascular event in the placebo group; 1 person out of 100 had an event in the Crestor group. So 100 people toook a pill that changed the outcome for only one of them! In addition, there were several troubling aspects pertaining to the Crestor takers:

  1. There were elevated levels of glycated hemoglobin levels and incidence of diabetes in the Crestor group

  2. There is no data on the safety of LDL levels as low as 55 miligram per deciliter. There may be long term detrimental effects.

  3. The cost of Crestor is much higher than that of several other statins

  4. Not mentioned in this editorial - other concerns about rosuvastatin that we have already published elsewhere.

  5. Another aspect mentioned in this editorial - the fact that this study was supported by Astra-Zeneca, even though measures were taken to prevent their influence. It may be hard to gauge subtle biases due to the fact that participants were funded by it..

One other issue that the editorial mentions is a result of reference 3. This reference points out that there could be siginificant biases associated with early termination of an experiment. In particular, waiting the full period may have resulted in lower final risk reductions. Completing the study may also uncover more adverse reactions that develop over the course of the study, as others have reported. Last but not least, the large number of people who need to take a pill for just one person to be impacted, which is an issue with all statin therapy for asymptomatic people.

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Last Modification - Update - November 15, 2008