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December 23rd, 2009
FDA Considers Prescribing Crestor to Healthy People

Members of the U.S. Food and Drug administration have decided that use of the cholesterol pill, Crestor, for patients with normal cholesterol levels will aid in preventing heart attack, stroke and death.

The select panel of experts came to the decision after a vote of 12-4 concerning the prescription drug’s benefits. The conclusion supported the idea that Crestor’s positives were much more important than any risk found in patients with healthy cholesterol and no history of heart disease.

If the FDA follows the advice of the panel, the market for Crestor will explode into 6.5 million American patients who thought they did not need cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Research was done comparing patients taking the prescription drug versus patients receiving a placebo. In the study, the amount of heart problems including death, stroke, heart attacks and clogged arteries dropped by 44% for the patients taking Crestor.

Scientists still argue about whether this positive result is from lower cholesterol or C-reactive protein, because the drug decreases the level of both.

Risks of the drug include a 27% higher rate of diabetes for the patients taking the drug. However this side effect is common to all statin drugs and does not override the benefits.

Crestor’s manufacturer, AstraZeneca, agreed to market their product only to patients with a risk of heart problems caused by smoking, stress or a history of hypertension.

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