The recent Jupiter clincial trial revealing that statins like Crestor may help prevent heart attacks, even for folks who would not ordinarily be prescribed the cholesterol-lowering drug, got front-page news.
While this could be an important breakthrough in science, medicine, and health, there are some concerns, encouraged by the . Leave it to Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report to provide a counterpoint:
Colbert brings up some of the legitimate critique of PhRMA: that their research is focused more on finding a steady income stream from existing drugs than on new discoveries. “This is a great breakthrough in the battle to find things to prescribe to people who don’t need them…True, the drug costs $100 a month… But that is a small price to pay to not have the heart attack that there’s no way of knowing that you would have had.”
After a clip of Stanford cardiologist Mark Hlatky urging caution, Colbert quipped, “sounds like someone hasn’t gotten enough free Crestor pens.” Health Access California, CALPIRG, California Labor Federation and other senior and consumer groups supported a bill earlier this year to place limits on the drug company giveaways to medical providers, but the active opposition of PhRMA blocked it. Maybe now that the issue has gotten the famous “Colbert bump” (along with the city of Sacramento), we can be more successful in the future.
The Colbert piece led Scientific American and the Wall Street Journal Health Blog to (in jest?) encourage Colbert’s name be added to the list of candidates for FDA Commissioner as President Obama selects a new administration.