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Statins

HEALTH
August 9, 2010 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
As the world's most-prescribed class of medications, statins indisputably qualify for the commercial distinction of "blockbuster. " About 24 million Americans take the drugs — marketed under such commercial names as Pravachol, Mevacor, Lipitor, Zocor and Crestor — largely to stave off heart attacks and strokes. At the zenith of their profitability, these medications raked in $26.2 billion a year for their manufacturers. The introduction in recent years of cheaper generic versions may have begun to cut into sales revenues for the brand-name drugs that came first to the market, but better prices have only fueled the medications' use: In 2009, U.S. patients filled 201.4 million prescriptions for statins, according to IMS Health, which tracks prescription drug trends.
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HEALTH
January 8, 2007 | From Times wire reports
Lipitor, Zocor and similar cholesterol lowering drugs failed to prevent colon cancer in a study, dimming hope the pills taken by millions of Americans could thwart one of the nation's leading killers. Laboratory and animal research has suggested in the past that the drugs, called statins, may have anti-cancer properties, blocking compounds the damaged cells need to grow and spread. Studies in people, though, have yielded mixed results.
HEALTH
April 16, 2007 | From Times wire reports
People who use statin drugs are less likely to die of influenza and chronic bronchitis, according to research that shows yet another unexpected benefit of the cholesterol-lowering medications. The study of more than 76,000 people showed that those who had taken statins for at least 90 days had a much lower risk of dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, the technical name for emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
NATIONAL
September 24, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
A consumer group and 35 doctors and scientists asked the National Institutes of Health to oversee an independent review of the science that led to new guidelines urging wider use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the doctors and scientists said in a letter to NIH that there wasn't enough evidence to justify the recommendations, especially for women, older people and diabetics.
NATIONAL
March 30, 2009 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
Statin drugs, taken to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease, also can cut the risk of developing dangerous blood clots that can lodge in the legs or lungs, a major study suggests. The results provide a new reason to consider taking these medicines, sold as Crestor, Lipitor, Zocor and in generic form, doctors say. In the study, Crestor cut nearly in half the risk of blood clots in people with low cholesterol but who tested high for inflammation. The same study last fall showed that Crestor dramatically reduced heart attacks, strokes and risk of death in these people.
SCIENCE
February 18, 2004 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
Cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins can reduce deaths from advanced heart failure by as much as 55%, according to a UCLA study published today. The increased survival occurred even though most patients who received the statins were sicker than those who did not receive them, according to the report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
SCIENCE
October 15, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Cholesterol levels in older Americans have fallen markedly over the last 40 years, but the decline is due primarily to increased use of statin drugs rather than to healthier lifestyles, government researchers reported this week. Statins, which include such widely used medicines as Lipitor, Zocor and Pravachol, can dramatically reduce levels of cholesterol that can clog arteries and lead to heart attacks.
NATIONAL
January 4, 2006 | Delthia Ricks, Newsday
Popular statin drugs widely used to lower cholesterol to prevent heart disease apparently do not reduce the risk of cancer, despite a flurry of recent studies suggesting a strong anti-cancer benefit, two scientific investigations report today. Statins are the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States and include Lipitor, Zocor, Mevacor, Crestor, Pravachol and Lescol.
HEALTH
August 25, 2003 | Jane E. Allen, Times Staff Writer
Patients who need help reducing their risk of heart attack and stroke now have one more cholesterol-lowering drug from which to choose. Like other statins, Crestor (rosuvastatin) partially blocks the production of cholesterol in the liver. It lowers total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol, while increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol. It also reduces triglycerides, another blood fat associated with the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
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