Silence was the stern reply

I thought I should share with you, a letter written to Professor Sir Rory Collins by a reader of my blog. Mr David Bailey. Of course I have ensured that I have his permission to re-print this here.

He sent the letter to me some time after he wrote to Professor Sir Rory Collins. I told I thought it was very well written and interesting. But then, as a confirmed statin/cholesterol geek, I think everything about statins is interesting [More meds please nurse].

Anyway, David Bailey wrote the letter, with the following cover note to me:

Malcolm,

I followed your GOOGLE link in your latest blog, and of course I found Sir Rory’s email address! I sent him the following letter, but I didn’t explicitly CC you, because I thought he might be less likely to take me seriously!

I hope perhaps a few of your other readers will do the same, but I don’t intend to suggest this on your blog – I don’t want this to seem organised.

All the best,

———————————————————

I replied

David

Excellent letter.

The reply will be, as follows

Dear Mr Bailey,

Thank you for you letter. Professor Sir Rory Collins is unable to respond to personal issues of this type. Message ends….

Still a good letter though. Could I put it on my blog in a couple of weeks, once you fail to gain any response at all?

Malcolm

———————————————————

That is the background, here is the letter. It is typical of many hundreds that I receive from people suffering severe and significant statin related adverse effects. In virtually every case their doctor has dismissed the adverse effects as even existing.

When, rarely, their doctor has accepted they are having adverse effects they have NEVER, according to those who write to me, made any attempt to inform the authorities that their patient has suffered a statin related adverse effect. Medwatch in the US, the Yellow Card system in the UK…

Dear Sir Rory,

I am not a medical doctor, though I have a PhD in chemistry, but I am writing to tell you of my experiences taking Simvastatin.

As I understand it, you are of the opinion that statin side effects are rare, and not important when weighed against the chance to avoid cardiovascular events.

I took Simvastatin for 3 years, and for most of that time I suffered no obvious side effects. I felt extremely positive towards this drug, because although I have not had a stroke or heart attack, anything that reduced the risk seemed like a good idea.

The side effects started rather suddenly – with extreme cramps in my right leg, which was weakened by polio when I was a child. I naturally thought I was getting Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) – a problem that I understand has no specific test. Because there was some delay before I could see a specialist, and I was struggling as my symptoms got worse, I decided to stop my Simvastatin as a precaution because I remembered that it could cause ‘muscle pains’. By that time my leg was extremely painful in the muscles and the knee joint, and it had weakened further so that my right foot would drop as I walked – potentially causing me to trip on it.

By the time I saw a polio specialist, I was not diagnosed with PPS because the symptoms were receding – I got no specific diagnosis. As I continued to improve, I decided to restart my Simvastatin, assuming that it had had nothing to do with my problems, and within a week I could feel the symptoms returning.

All in all, I stopped Simvastatin 3 times, and each time the symptoms started to reduce after a delay of about a week, and returned after I restarted the drug!

Had I not realised that Simvastatin might be causing my problems; I think I might have ended up confined to a wheelchair in considerable pain, still taking the drug! As it was, once I gave up on Simvastatin, I recovered completely over a period of about 9 months.

Of course, my situation was a bit special, but I discovered from informal discussions with others in their late 50’s and 60’s that maybe half had had problems with statins, or knew someone else who had! Some had simply discarded their tablets without discussing it with their GP, others had been given prescriptions for a succession of different statins, and had trouble with all!  One man had suffered muscle cramps and severe memory problems – both reversed after he stopped taking statins.  These were personal contacts, but of course, the internet is overflowing with stories of statin side-effects. I realise that the internet may encourage such stories, but when I combine them with my own experience and those of others I know, I am very concerned that you are so ready to endorse an even wider use of statins in people who are currently well.

I would particularly like to draw your attention to the following aspects of my case:

1)           My side effects took 3 years to manifest themselves – making it less obvious what was happening.

2)          Only my polio leg was affected, which suggests that statin side effects may start in a part of the body already damaged in some other way. This must give particular concern because it suggests that there are people out these suffering statin side effects and still taking the drug!

3)          Because I was very positive about the value of Simvastatin, it is hard to attribute what happened to me as a nocebo effect. Furthermore, the fact that I tried stopping the drug several times and observed the symptoms recede each time, means that I can be essentially certain that my troubles were indeed caused by Simvastatin!

After this experience, I have read around the entire subject of statins, cholesterol levels, and saturated fats. What I read disturbs me greatly.

1)            The evidence against saturated fats is weak except for one graph by Ancel Keys, who cherry picked his data to ‘prove’ the result he wanted!

2)           Cholesterol in the blood (or LDL/HDL) seems far less well correlated with heart attacks than I would have expected.

3)           Even though statins also block the synthesis of Co-Enzyme Q10, doctors do not seem to be warned to combine statin treatment with this supplement.

4)           Many medical researchers are concerned by the consequences of taking statins – some even suggest that statin induced muscle damage may be responsible for a rise in the incidence of heart failure in recent years!

We live in an age of openness, and I really think it would help if you debated your views with medical critics – verbally or in written form. Simply repeating that statins are safe and good for you (I paraphrase slightly) doesn’t seem to be sufficient.

Sincerely yours,

David Bailey

115 thoughts on “Silence was the stern reply

  1. Cleethorpes

    Professor Sir Rory Collins doesn’t need to defend his opinion; he has the weight of inertia (however lacking in underpinning evidence) of the mainstream ‘establishment’ to do that for him.

    Reply
    1. Leaf Eating Carnivore

      The weight of inertia is a vastly under-appreciated drag on progress in all spheres of human endeavor.

      Reply
  2. Tony Collingwood

    I would send him a reminder, referring to and accompanied by the original reminder, and tell him that you are copying the reminder and its enclosure to the BMJ, the Royal College of Physicians, newspapers etc. The more that do this, the merrier.

    Reply
  3. Sandy Sands

    What does David Bailey mean – Statins also block the synthesis of Co-Enzyme Q10, doctors do not seem to be warned to combine statin treatment with this supplement. – Please explain as I take both.

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      If you take statins then you are right to also take Co-Enzyme Q10.

      What I meant was that statins block one step in a long chain of chemical reactions that end up with cholesterol. (A converts to B, which converts to C……which converts to cholesterol) However, that chain of chemical reactions branches further on than the step that statins block – so if you like, some of F ends up as cholesterol and some as Co-Enzyme Q10. One branch ends up with cholesterol, another with Co-Enzyme Q10, and there are still more branches that end up with other biologically important products.

      So taking a statin blocks the synthesis of a number of natural chemicals.

      As I understand it, one company was going to manufacture a pill containing both a statin and Co-Enzyme Q10. This got dropped because it would have alerted people to the fact that statins do more to your body than just lower cholesterol!

      Reply
      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        That company was Merck, who filed for two patents whereby statins should be used with co-enzyme Q-10. They did not do this in the end. Perhaps because it did not look good to have to take a side-effect antidote at the same time as taking the tablet.

      2. Jennifer

        David, I took on board the Co-Q10 problem years ago and in the days when I still hung onto my GP’s recommendations. I suggested having it prescribed along with the statins, but was poo-pooed. So, I bought it across the counter, and at £40 per month, I soon willingly agreed with the nutritionists who postured that all nutrient supplementation was unneccesary, if we followed a balanced diet of quality foods.
        How wrong I was! Yes….quite likely, if eating a good diet……but I was having my precious physiology inappropriately unbalanced by a toxin I really should never have been prescribed in the first place, whilst at the same time, being advised to ensure 55% CHO intake for type 2 diabetes.
        Madness. Agree?
        No statins…….no need for CoQ10. Agree?
        Nourishing food…..no need for vitamin supplementation. Agree?”
        A”health” industry which promotes a very bad diet. Agree?
        A human body lacking in homeostasis, brought about by bad diet and multiple medications. Agree?
        Goody goody….the docs and nutritionists are playing nicely into the laps of the massive pharmaceutical and processed food industries.

        And here we are, a nation groaning under the influence of bad pharma and poor quality “food-like” concoctions. In a world where excellent research is being vilified by those whose financial interests are removed from the morality I thought was part and parcel of decent humanity.
        Why has it all gone so horribly wrong?
        Thanks, David, for your endeavours in highlighting this important topic.

      3. Sandy Sands

        Many thanks, gentlemen, for taking the time to reply, very much appreciated. Kind Regards, Sandy Sands.

      4. mikecawdery

        Int J Clin Pract. 2002 Jan-Feb;56(1):53-6
        Extract from abstract
        Quote: “It is a prospective double blind randomised controlled trial with a 2 x 2 factorial design investigating prolonged use (>5 years) of simvastatin 40 mg and a cocktail of antioxidant vitamins (650 mg vitamin E, 250 mg vitamin C and 20 mg beta-carotene)”.

        NO CoQ10 despite to patents – OBFUSCATION writ large

        US Patents: # 4,933,165 and United State Patent: 5,082,650
        http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P…&RS=PN/4933165

        Quote: “Among high-risk patients in this western population (with a minimum total cholesterol [TC] > or = 3.5 mmol/l at entry) there appears to be no threshold cholesterol value below which statin therapy is not associated with benefit; even among those with pre-treatment cholesterol levels below current national recommended targets”.

        In short from the mouths of experts TC level is irrelevant

      5. Mary Richard

        David, it is my understanding also that they were going to add CoQ10 to the first round. I personally believe that it would have impacted the bottom line as well as raise some “red flags” about how statins do what they do. I am guessing it is a combination of both. Passive Aggressive people are some of the most difficult to figure out I have found. It is rather cowardly I would say. I wonder how many proponents of these statins are on them as well. If they are all taking them (as they should be for preventive measures), the associated brain damage could be the culprit here. In that case…we are all in big trouble.

      6. Catherine Reynolds

        My husband was “advised” to take CoQ10 when he was prescribed simvastatin, but with no explanation as to why he should do so. Indeed, back then, (only two years ago), he accepted what the doctors at the hospital told him without question, because he’d had a mild heart attack, he was shaken up and frightened, and would frankly have done or taken anything they said he should. I think that this scenario probably applies to very many people who’ve been prescribed statins – they are made to believe that their lives are literally in imminent danger, and if they delay taking the statins, then they are just increasing that risk. David’s letter is excellent, and if the Professor is any sort of professional, he will make the effort to produce a proper response.

  4. Lovely Laura

    A great letter from David. I am not surprised he has not had a reply yet, Rory Collins will still be getting over the shock of a patient with views! He seems to think we are simply some kind of advanced herd animal. Sadly thinking about people as statistics and forgetting the point of the enterprise seems to have taken over for Rory. He does not seem to have the insight to see that things are changing and his poor attitude and behaviour is visible as well as risible!

    Reply
  5. mikecawdery

    I take it that the eminent Sir Rory did not deign to reply.

    Of course he would not. Any negative data even in his own research simply does not exist. This is typical of Big Pharma KOLs.

    Reply
    1. celia

      Or maybe Sir Rory’s fighting hard to avoid facing up to the knowledge that he’s on shaky ground and has sold his soul to “Big Pharma”. If he gets into a serious debate he may fear the truth will out.

      Reply
  6. Brian Utterson

    Cardiologist put me on high dosage statin. When I went back for a follow up after a month I was hobbling on crutches. I was referred to a neurologist who after a lengthy examination told me to
    stop the statin forthwith. Now permanently disabled. No further comment from cardiologist.
    Brian Utterson Johannesburg.

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      As I have mentioned to someone else on this blog, I feel that I recovered because I was determined to exercise. Taking an anti-inflamatory drug that let me exercise seemed to do the trick for me. Of course, because the statin only seemed to go for my weak leg, I still had my super strong leg to drag me along!

      If possible, take something to dampen down the pain – diclofenac worked well for me – and try and get those muscles working again. It took me about 9 months to recover completely.

      I don’t think asking the doctors how to treat statin problems is much good, because they are in denial of the damage these drugs do.

      Anyway, I am off on a bike ride right now!

      Reply
      1. Fran

        From my research and communication with the statin damaged over the past 10 years, those that are more muscular and physically active, seem to be more prone to adverse effects from statins. Statins can and do cause many to be “exercise intolerant”. David, you are fortunate that taking an anti-inflammatory allowed you to continue exercising. The downside of trying to exercise while withdrawing and recovering from statins is that it can lengthen recovery time and do more damage to already challenged muscles. Very detailed information is in this article from NIH: “Effect of Statins on Skeletal Muscle: Exercise, Myopathy, and Muscle Outcomes”, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3463373/

  7. Hants Hippy (@hants_hippy)

    This really is getting scandalous. I have identified 4 very close friends who took statins. We are all suffering dreadful symptoms from these drugs for up to 6yrs after ditching them!

    Time for the fraud squad or someone with some real clout to investigate this well orchestrated mass poisoning!

    Reply
    1. Sarah

      My father’s best mate was on simvastatin (just like my dad). Martyn was several years older than Dad, and never had a day’s illness in his life (aside from that which comes from consuming what the NHS terms a healthy diet). The ongoing joke was his hair – Dad’s was thinning but Martyn’s was still as thick as it was when he was at uni!

      Anyway, Martyn was one of Dad’s golf buds, both founder members of their club. Martyn was first scripted statins (NOT sim to the best of my knowledge, I obviously don’t know his medical history all that well) in the mid-80s, but didn’t start developing side – sorry, ADVERSE – effects until a good decade or so later. The club was founded in ’82.

      About 2001 he was told he had diabetes, a shock, as he thought he was eating a healthy diet. Five years later his pancreas packed in, and he had to inject. Five years after that he was dead. It seems he’d got up to get the remote off the coffee table, and keeled over stone dead. His wife (they’d not long celebrated their golden wedding) came home from work (she’s a florist) and, by all accounts, her screams were loud enough to bring the neighbours round.

      The official report (and I’m paraphrasing) was liver failure due to complications of diabetes, but MY analysis of the situation was that statins did for him. He was the healthiest person I knew before he got ‘statinned’.

      Now my father is on the same combo of poisons that Martyn was, and has been for 5 years. I eventually plucked up courage to buy him Dr. K’s book, and his response was fairly predictable, “Fucking crackpot! Load of fucking bollocks! If I had my way, I’d see him struck off!” Neither he, nor my mother, will believe ANYTHING unless the NHS says it and, as far as I’m concerned, 99 – if not 100% – of what the NHS decrees is healthy, is not.

      My father will go the same way as Martyn, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it…

      Reply
  8. celia

    A very good letter from David Bailey, which reflects some of my own experiences regarding statins. My own symptoms of memory loss, muscle loss, tendon tightness, and general fatigue, came also after 3 years on statins (which I also had previously felt positive about.) I have lost count of the numbers of people I have spoken to who either now have problems or know someone who has problems related to statins. I wonder if Sir Rory will ever deign to reply, or has he just binned the letter as rather inconvenient?

    Reply
  9. lorrainecleaver7

    Reblogged this on Lorraine Cleaver and commented:
    So many parallels with the way thyroid patients are treated! Like statins, if you experinece dreadful symptoms on Levothyroxine, the only drug offered, it’s nothing to do with the medicine. It must be something else. Deny the patient’s reality, how very progressive of medicine.

    Reply
  10. V

    Three things.
    1. Rather off-topic: please, Doc, advise your friend to use BCC (blind carbon copy). The original recipient will never see any of (as many as one likes) the BCC’s – that’s why the function is called ‘blind’.
    2. I never had polio, but the exact same drug hit me hard and in multiple ways. I’ve described my symptoms at length in another reply to an older post, but I’ll summarize them again, here: general and specific muscular pain(s), back neck pain, headaches, dizziness, disorientation, mild amnesia and severe forgetfulness (I understand they’re distinct things, for a reason that eludes me), insomnia, sexual dysfunction. It’s as anecdotal as it gets, but I have had many friends with pretty much the same symptoms, all of us taking that bloody Simvastatin. Once the drug was stopped by most of us, many of those awful ‘discomforts’ vanished in a day or so. I’m still having trouble sleeping at proper hours (although now I do sleep), and some minor memory issues – seven or eight months after stopping Simvastatin. I also took the drug for slightly over three years, kinda like your friend, Doc. But thinking way back when I started it, my symptoms appeared in about a month.
    3. As I stated before, I am a heart patient – I had a MI in 2009, with a stent planted. I also stopped beta-blockers (shortly after ditching statins), following some lengthy debates with my cardiologist (great guy; smart as a whip and open-minded). I’m now on Corlentor (Laboratoires Servier), which does a better job that Betaloc ZOK in regulating my heart rate. But it has some nasty adverse effects (over me, at the very least). It’s also pretty obscure (due to being French, probably) and awfully expensive. But the real problem is that it messes with my eyesight – I now have trouble driving at night and also lost a great deal of visual acuity. The point of this 3rd ‘thing’ is: do you, Doc, or any of you great people here, know of a better alternative to Corlentor?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  11. dearieme

    Might a reply have read “Shut up, you odious little oik. I only have a knighthood, and very much want to be a Lord; your kind of whining will prove unhelpful”? S’pose not.

    Reply
  12. Judy B

    How very typical! It’s a shame that Rory’s ego will not permit any disagreement. (Just ignore them, they will eventually give up and shut up…)

    Reply
  13. Janet Shea-Simonds

    Well done David Bailey. We know that GPs practice defensive medicine so surely they would begin to worry if their patients reported (in writing), the adverse effects from statins? If everyone experiencing statin related symptoms reported them or wrote letters, surely something would be done in time. Or is that wishful thinking?

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      I would never blame my GP for what happened, because I feel they have to deal with so many different health problems, all they can do is follow guidelines – at least for most ailments.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Totally agree

        The so-called “guidelines” are effectively DIRECTIVES. The Guideline title is to protect the authors not the working doctors who have to follow them to avoid legal suit or negligence charges.

    2. Jennifer

      Well said Janet…..BUT!
      I did not run to my GP over a 10 year period with ALL the things that I ultimately realised were linked to long term statin use. I had presented with SOME effects which I questioned might be statin induced, but was dismissed, and sent to the care of the Nurse. SO….I put them down on paper, in the politest of terms, and put my case to the GP…….and I haven’t see the GP now in 18 months, because the response was truly awful.
      NOW…perhaps I ought to have changed GP, but my suspicions are that by putting it in writing, raised the heckles and seemed confrontational, because my letter then becomes filed away for future reference…..oh…that wreaks of potential litigation, does it not? And of course, my notes go with me….the stroppy old nurse who deigned to question her care! And perhaps many GPs would have reacted in the same way, so why bother changing surgery? (and not practical for me).
      Lets get back to basics…academics must accept that the general public can actually articulate well, and partake in sensible discussion.Look at the quality of the blogs on this site…..folks are articulate, sensible, concerned and polite. How come GPs seem unable to accept this, and just come clean…..admit they have not kept up with the research?
      My degreee of resentment is seeping out now, and does not add much to the discussion, especially as my health is now so good…I need to keep positive, because I have been proved correct! What about the poor souls who have not moved on?

      Reply
      1. Judy B

        The lack of an MD after your name is usually the reason for the lack of respect for differing opinions.. (However, it seems that dissent from other MD’s is also not to be tolerated by the Guild!)

  14. Jennifer

    The concept of filling in a yellow card is more complex than meets the eye. Side effects can be insidious and patients may never report events to the GP, thinking their problems are not relevant. This is not an excuse for uneducated GPs, but to be fair, I think it is worth considering.
    For instance…..patient A is started on a drug. His hair and nails turn green in a matter of a month or so……. He is very likely to report this to the GP, and between them they could put 2 and 2 together, and decide that their suspicions justify a yellow card.
    But patient B commences on statins……I am patient B for ease of explanation.
    I had to stop driving 7 years ago…I had lost my dexterity to do manoeuvres. Do I report this to the GP, having been consuming statins, (amongst a bucket load of other toxins), for over 3 years? Who would link the 2?.
    On reading David’s letter, my husband reminded me that I too had fallen down flights of stairs during my statin years……I was not injured, but just clumsy, and not sure-footed. Did I run to the GP to report my mishaps? Who would link the 2?
    Over the years, I purchased a book holder, as I was unable to hold a book! My husband had to start carrying my handbag. My hair and nails became thin and unsightly. My mood became depressed (well, whose wouldn’t by this stage). I started to stagnate into the comfort and security of my home, with husband taking over more and more of the chores. ( OK…that’s not an adverse effect, but in this case, the end does not justify the means)
    Just who would take these tales to a GP?
    When I decided that enough was enough, after having done my homework on my health status and ultimately stopping ALL medications, I have now reverted to my pre-statin state. ( but still let him do the ironing, ‘cos he has perfected the skill).Needless to say, I have not been back to the GP to record the miracle, but maybe I should! Perhaps there could be a Rainbow coloured card to report such incredible improvements once the toxins are removed from our systems!

    Reply
  15. David Bailey

    As I see it, the problem with the statin debate, is that one side produces detailed evidence that indicates that orthodox medical science has got the whole fat-cholesterol-statins-side-effects story utterly wrong. The other side seems to skip all that detail and simply assert that all is well, and people should keep taking their tablets!

    Somehow we need to force the likes of Rory Collins to grapple with the details in public.

    My guess is that had I missed out all the parts of my letter that indicated that I knew a bit about the subject (mostly gleaned from Malcolm’s book – my chemistry degree was long ago and dealt with molecules that you most certainly would not want in your body!), I might have got a polite letter containing a link to an NHS website (maybe I still will) – but that patients who write with a combination of their medical details and some awareness of the weak science justifying the orthodox position, are an embarrassment, and don’t get a reply.

    I’d like more of you – particularly those who know a bit about some of the science issues involved – to write to Sir Rory. I’d suggest keeping off the issue of funding and corruption – as I did – because it is almost impossible to broach that subject without sounding disrespectful – which gives him an excuse not to respond.

    I don’t think any of you will get a reply, but perhaps the collection of letters will interest a health journalist to ask the obvious question:

    Why is it that it is impossible to get a detailed refutation of Dr Kendrick’s book?

    Once they ask that question, we might get somewhere!

    Reply
  16. Sandrien

    A great letter alerting on the adverse effects statins might have! The only thing to be added – from my perspective suffering from it – is that unfortunately most doctors believe (!) that statin adverse effects always will go away after stopping the statin. Unfortunately that is not true for quite some people as I learned by experience as well as by discussion with others. Even taking Q10 ubiquinol since about 3 years and right after stopping with simvastatin, did not improve most of my problems which came with the statin very suddenly and strongly. I do experience great advantage taking 2x100mg of ubiquinol a day, yes. Without it I would not be able to even live an acceptable quite inactive life to be honest… without the enzym I immediately experience much more muscle pain and weakness in especially arms and legs as well as my energylevel in general goes down extremely. With merely 100mg a day missing I do feel that strongly. But healing… seems to be stil wishful thinking for me while I did not give up hope so far. Among others I do suffer from a strong deterioreation of my cognitive abilities and thus suffer from braindamage which is statin induced. So, unfortunately, not all of us are cured by side effects after stopping with the statins… .

    Reply
  17. osteopathscotland

    In a moment of epiphany someone once said “A man cannot understand something if his income depends on him not understanding it.” I think they were onto something.

    Reply
  18. Tom Welsh

    All this is adequately explained by one word: “capitalism”. I’m no Marxist, or anything of the kind, but it’s obvious that our society is following the USA in coming to treat money as the ONLY value. Any talk of “ethical capitalism” is nonsense; as any scientist, engineer or mathematician knows, you cannot optimize a system for more than one variable.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      True, but you can force systems to become more ethical with various laws. I don’t blame the pharmaceutical industry for pursuing money at the expense of everything else. It’s like blaming the wolf for eating the sheep – it’s what they do best. I do blame our glorious ‘leaders’ for doing nothing about it.

      Reply
    2. Lorna

      The oxymoronic ‘spin’ we are asked to believe is that pharmaceutical companies are motivated by ethics AND money. If we were treated like intelligent adults with the truth that profit is the reason for pharmaceutical decisions, more of us would be more critical. I,too, blame successive governments for negligent oversight at best and compliance with vested interest at the expense of wider health outcomes.

      Reply
    3. dearieme

      “All this is adequately explained by one word: “capitalism””: rubbish. It started with Ancel Keys whose search was for prestige and power, nothing whatsoever to do with capitalism.

      Reply
      1. Steve Prior

        I’m not sure whether the egg came first or the chicken preceded it. Ancel Keys did seem to crave power and had an ego which craved control but… Our system of money rewards those who have most of it and big corporations understand this very well and do everything they can to grow it.

        As a by the way comment, it’s human nature to seek security, power and control. My guess is that some humans go further than others.

        The reality is simply this, we live in a human created capitalist environment and the world is one giant spreadsheet. If I spend money or more to the point the credit created by private banks then my balance goes down and someone else’s balance goes up. The more their balance goes up the more goodies, yahts, houses, swimming pools etc they can buy.

        If Ancel Keys had never existed there would be someone or something else in place in which to convince us we should part with our cash, it’s the nature of the underlying structure.

        So, you may be right that Ancel Keys started it all but you would’t have a corrupt system unless the system was corruptible. My suspicion is the system is corruptible and people do what they can to keep it that way.

        I’m very well aware that the topic being discussed here is primarily medical but I don’t think you can have one without the other IE money and capital.

      2. mikecawdery

        “So, you may be right that Ancel Keys started it all but you would’t have a corrupt system unless the system was corruptible. My suspicion is the system is corruptible and people do what they can to keep it that way.”

        A Dr John Yudkin back in the late 1960s-early 70s had published research and a book (Pure, White and Deadly) that refuted Keys but the medical establishment and “Big Food” successfully killed it off! Corrupt well??? Certainly money and status were the root cause.

        But it is not the only case – another is trans fats from vegetable polyunsturate oils. It took the FDA twenty years to recognize that they were dangerous – twenty years of unnecessary damage. And so it goes and on – drugs food………..

  19. Mark John

    Management of symptoms is more profitable than curing any disease.
    Management of “markers” is more profitable yet.

    Each individual has to take control of looking after their own health – you can’t expect someone else to do it for you or even (sadly) trust anyone else to do it for you. And the starting point for doing that has to be eating real food.

    Reply
  20. sundancer55

    Why would the medical industry want people to be “well”? They don’t want us dead, but they don’t want us well enough NOT to need drugs, either. They need to keep us all just sick enough to need the crap they sell. That includes almost everything involving the PHRMA companies. Many of the pharmaceutical companies also make supplements, so be careful where you purchase those, as well, or they may be “full of sound and fury” but not much more. Another good reason to try to obtain your supplemental needs through foods, if possible. Food. That’s another whole article for Dr. Kendrick to tackle . . . =) What we have today is not “food” unless you grow it yourself and know where the seeds came from, too. Raise your own chickens (for meat and eggs), pork and beef if possible, milk your own dairy cows – – – it would be impossible for most people. So find local people to buy from (no matter where you live) and try to do the best you can to keep yourself healthy because the “industry” is NOT going to do it for you. Just the opposite, I’m afraid.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer

      I am re-reading Trick and Treat by Barry Groves. (Hammersmith Press Ltd 2008).
      He passed away last year, but his regime seems to have given him a good life until his end, and is that not what we all want? Modern medics give the impression that extending lifespan, at the expense of “wellness”, is what we are wanting. Well, no, because we do understand that lifespan is finite. But, we don’t want to have toxins foisted on us “just in case” we might develop something horrible.
      Anyway….back to the knitting, as they say. (I had even lost the strength to do that while in my statinisation state)

      Reply
      1. Jean Humphreys

        Funny you should mention knitting. Having always done it, as an alternative to fidgetting and potentially picking my nose, two years of statination made me incapable of that small movement. It took five years clean for the ability to return. Fortunately for me and my family, I regained the use of my brain rather more rapidly!

      2. celia

        Hi Jennifer,
        If you fancy another eye opening read, try The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz. I’ve just finished it, and found it fascinating, shocking and highly readable.

      3. Jennifer

        Celia, thanks for recommending The Big Fat Surprise. I was in a charity shop in St Andrews, and there was a pristine, new copy for a fiver, just waiting there for me! I could not put it away once I started reading it, and so I also recommend it to those interested in this important topic.
        I am still looking for Mary’s article in the Telegraph….I seem to have referred to the wrong one.

    2. steve

      Yes, quite true. We are all caught in the same human created trap.

      We must work to pay the bills, companies must sell us stuff, governments must tax us.

      The system dictates that a company will do well if it sells more and makes more profit. There is a massive incentive to fix problems but not prevent diseases. A regular dose of a medicine is the goal as it keeps the gravy train going for ever.

      Governments want power, they get power from the electorate, the electorate want jobs, jobs are created when a company creates a need or desire.

      You can call it what you like but the system makes us all slaves to it.

      In a way, our dear pharmaceutical companies are only doing what the system has told them to do.

      Ultimately, its the underlying structures which drive behaviour and all our human created systems are designed from a flawed economic system which underpins the whole thing.

      It’s almost enough to make us think that communism is a great model. Except it isn’t at all…

      Ho…hum back to work for me then!

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        I agree very much with this.

        Society really needs to ask pharmaceutical companies to do work and pay for that work – not develop products.

        So if ‘we’ asked pharmaceutical companies to research the causes of CVD as a paid project, I am sure they would.

        If on the basis of that research ‘we’ asked them to devise a drug to reduce homosystein (say), as a paid project, I am sure they would.

        Obviously all this research would be publicly accessible.

        Then, armed with a potential drug, ‘we’ should ask another company to manufacture it at cost price.

        If ‘we’ pay for each step we don’t get the absurd anomalies that the present system throws up.

        We also need to realise just how incredibly fallible (and corrupt modern science is. We are paying a vast price because we don’t realise this. Statins, cholesterol measurement and ‘management’, saturated fat reduction, salt reduction, ‘green’ energy,…….. Billions and billions of pounds wasted, and lives wrecked as a result of dodgy science.

    3. Mary Richard

      Sundancer, I so agree with your assessment of the current state of our healthcare and food industries. I am fortunate in that I grew up knowing the value of fresh vegetables and animal foods since my grandfather owned corner grocery stores. My father came from a small town and often we bought bushels of fresh vegetables which we (whole family) were “required” to help prepare for canning or freezing. However, in our modern world I got away from that. As a working mother and in college, I went for the “convenience” foods. Now, after all I have learned and read (and suffered), I have come full circle. We have farmers markets here where we can buy fresh vegetables grown by locals. I prepare fresh exclusively. My personal belief after all I have read and seen is that heart disease as well as most modern diseases (that are preventable) are directly related to how we live our lives. I believe vascular diseases are diseases of inflammation and oxidative stress. Keeping your body healthy with foods that allow your body to heal and repair naturally is the answer.
      For years, I was told not to go into the sun. It will age you and give you cancer. I was always fair skinned so I believed it. I slathered the sunscreen and made sure my skin was properly care for. The unfortunate thing is that I am low in vitamin D for that and other reasons. So, to live with good common sense and in moderation with all things is the key to good health and in recovery from diseases that create auto-immunity or a pro inflammatory response in our bodies.

      One thing my gut told me NOT TO DO was use birth control or hormones of any kind at any time in my life. I thank God for that. As far as the rest of it, my body is healing with the above measures, exercise, determination not to be “disabled”, and a positive attitude toward self and others. I am becoming who I need to be and want to be.

      Reply
  21. Cstckdvd

    Anyone can report side-effects directly to MHRC, including patients. Simply go to the website: https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk

    The website states: “The Yellow Card Scheme, run by MHRA and the Commission on Human Medicines, is used to collect information from both health professionals and the general public on suspected side effects”

    The excellent letter from David Bailey would provide better information, including, as it does, rechallenge, than many “professionals” would send.

    Genuine side-effect reports from your correspondents could prove to be more effective than being ignored by Sir Rory Collins or your GP.

    Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Dr K, I have completed the form on line….and I feel relieved that I have got my problems submitted to a third party.
        Actually, I had almost forgotten just how unwell I actually was over the 10-12 year period, and how little help I was offered for my symptoms, except the phrase—‘then lets double the dose”, re: all of the meds, as well as the statins.
        I hope others take the time to complete the form on line.

      2. Mary Richard

        I suppose it would not apply to your friends across the pond, Dr. Kendrick.

        I was thinking about you and your followers this am when pondering the “Now you see it, now you don’t” blog. That is how I feel about my mother, God love her. She was put on Baycol and when taken off the market…another statin. I recall the moment I realized she was “losing it”. I thought she was kidding me, calling a “Freudian Slip” a “Fraudulent Slip”. She also used the term emancipated rather than emaciated in the first sentence. I laughed…she did not. I could tell she really meant it. I corrected her…still no laugh from her. We often laughed at these slips of the tongue, but make no mistake, she was as sharp as a tack. She loved puns. Now, she has all but gone. She does not recognize anyone except for a few of her closest relatives. The quick witted, vibrant, fun loving, wise cracking woman is no more. I grieve her. I got her off the statins…it was too late. It was only one year ago and I have prayed she would improve. But, I don’t see her…she is gone. She cannot smell, taste or laugh like before unless you sing her a little song. Then she comes back to life for just a little while and I see her again. Then…I don’t. Please don’t let this happen to other senior citizens who HAVE NO HISTORY OF HEART OR VASCULAR disease because we are losing so much rich history of storytellers and those from whom we can learn about the past. Don’t let them disappear…Please, Dr. Kendrick.

      3. David Bailey

        I have just done this!

        I think it might also help if you placed a link to the yellow card website in a prominent place at the top of your blog.

      4. Mary Richard

        Dr. Kendrick, I am really proud of you and for you. I speak for most everyone here I am sure that your diligence will no doubt save many lives from the agony, pain and discomfort of these poisons they call statins. I see that you have made significant progress. You are a hero to many. Here comes the sun.

      5. Mich

        I recently discovered Health Canada’s reporting system and reported my mom’s symptoms. It’s all anonymous too.

        I also did a search on Crestor reporting, and almost from the get go when it was approved (2003) there are literally several daily reportings of side effects and deaths. Most of those taking the drug are older women (60s-70s), rarely young men. There was a young man who died due to a heart attack caused by Crestor (age 22).

      6. Jennifer

        After completing the form on line, I have been contacted for much in-depth information regarding Simvastatin, Pioglitazone and Sitagliptin. They do not request info regarding Metformin, or Atias and other drugs I mentioned. Blimey…..was I really ingesting all those things together???
        Of course, I take NOTHING these days, and feel like doing cart-wheels down the street. So, is that point relevant?….I believe so.
        I will need to obtain my GP medical notes, for dates and dosages over 12 years. I wonder what details will be redacted, ( which they are entitled to do), in order to protect my mental state? Ahhh…they do love me.
        My point is, that the interactions of a plethora of high dosage toxins will invalidate, and thus give an excuse to transfer blame, to each and every one in the selection. Also, the different manufacturers used by the pharmacies I decided to use in any particular month….Boots, Lloyds, The Co-op etc, all got supplies which fluctuated constantly. I have absolutely no way of being able to supply that data.
        So there seems little benefit in my continuing, because they require Manufacturer, batch numbers, dates etc.
        Is there a body which could look at multiple drug interactions? I think it is just too big a task, and consequently lets Big Pharma off the hook. GPs rarely prescribe a statin on its own, so there we are….a brilliant excuse to pass the buck to the other drug/s.
        And don’t get me started on Pioglitazone and Sitagliptin……these were the drugs which originally got me worried…..and then I looked at the statins…..what a year I have had!!!

      7. mikecawdery

        Jennifer

        I have reported several adverse reactions including statins over the years but  the MHRA never came back.  Clearly the recent rumpus has stimulated them to do something.  I agree that this is probably the time for every one to send in the Yellow Card – in more senses than one

        ________________________________

    1. mikecawdery

      I have been trying to get people, including GPs, to report adverse reactions (ARs) to the MHRA for years. As an ex-vet-QP-pharmacovigilance I believe reporting is imperative to establish the incidence of adverse reactions. The MHRA system is basically excellent but regrettably fails because it is not used. I suspect that fewer than 1% of front-line doctors report ARs for various reasons because reporting is not mandatory.

      Since the “post-marketing surveillance” was brought in so that new drugs (even me-toos) could be brought to market quicker, thereby letting Big Pharma of the assessment of adverse effects but relying on doctors to do their work for them, I believe that reporting adverse reactions is far more important than many of the mandatory forms that docs have to fill in but then I am not paid by Big Pharma which obviously does not want any evidence on ARs to be reported.

      Reply
      1. osteopathscotland

        The MHRA system is basically irrelevant (how can it be excellent if it’s so under utilised?) as it’s funded largely in the UK by the taxpayer, with a token financial contribution from Only Big Pharma’s reps are regulating the post-marketing surveillance system and Yellow Card, and you have to ask yourself, “Is this sensible”? When a patient is proven to have been affected by an adverse drug reaction (ADR) due to a prescribed drug, compensation is paid by the taxpayer. Not the drug manufacturer nor their shareholders. Strange but true.

      2. mikecawdery

        Its design is excellent! That it is not used is the problem and it is that that makes it irrelevant. Blame the medical establishment if you will – not the system

      3. osteopathscotland

        Isn’t it entirely possible that the medical establishment designed the MHRA system to fail and have therefor succeeded in their project? Were this not to be the case then surely the designers would have recognised the their design wasn’t fit for purpose and remedied this obvious failure. To claim that the public, pharmacists and the medical community who are being asked to monitor this scheme as culprits is surely missing the point.

        If the MHRA had been a building designed by an architect it would have been demolished and rebuilt from the foundations long ago.

        The intrinsic weakness within the MHRA system is that the monitors have a vested interest in under-reporting adverse effects of drugs. The medical community is way too close to the drug manufacturers for the current system to work.

        Any neutral organisation looking to improve the current failing system would have to work on the medical institutions to change their ethos, making their first responsibility to demand transparency in all drug trials. The proposals within the AllTrials campaign seem entirely clear and considered. Were their new methodology to be adopted across UK drug regulation then the rebuilt system might just work as intended?

      4. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        We definitely need more patient reporting of adverse effects. As a doctor if you fill in a yellow card, all hell breaks loose and you are swamped with paperwork. Perfectly designed to ensure you never make that mistake again.

      5. Scottish Political Group

        I am an osteopath and have on average 10-12 adr’s per annum, mostly referred to their GP and a follow-up telephone call ensues. I admit to puzzlement on many of these calls. Why do so many tell me that it can’t be the drug in question, there must be some other explanation? An attitude of denial from the outset as if in some way you are blaming the prescriber for a malicious act. When you get into this conversation you realise the possible explanation for such reluctance to use the system is that after all the form filling you never get any feedback on outcomes, nor where your patient has been included in the data. It’s like the suspected adr has no actual meaning after all’s said and done, as reporting it is a one way act. This clinical observation has just disappeared down a black hole sub set in a data processor’s Microsoft Excel spread sheet.

  22. Liz

    Regarding memory problems on statins, an acquaintance whose thinking has become a bit woolly, has been persuaded to go back on Lipitor, feeling reassured by research from Bristol, 2013, which concluded that pravastatin, but not simvastatin (Lipitor), caused memory problems in rats who were given statins for 18 days (which my back of envelope calculations suggest is about equivalent to 2 human years.)
    Just wondering how this ties in with Dr Graveline’s experience of bouts of transient global amnesia each time he was started on Lipitor, and the many others who reported similar events when on the drug. Do rats respond differently from humans? Any thoughts on these results?

    Meanwhile however, I see the US FDA updated its warnings for statins last month, to include that “Cognitive (brain-related) impairment, such as memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion, has been reported by some statin users.” (including Lipitor) http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm293330.htm

    Reply
    1. celia

      I see Liz’s link includes a further link to report adverse events to FDA Medwatch, which may be useful. I was concerned though to read that the advice is still to continue with statins for their supposedly marvelous protective qualities.

      Reply
    1. Mary Richard

      Thank you Judy. It is indeed heart breaking to all who know her. Her sister three years her senior is very healthy. She was taking statin, but her daughter took her off before she developed any more leg pain. Today, she is cooking daily, entertaining and robust in her health. The difference between she and my mom is night and day. It is interesting to note that my aunt cooks only with fresh ingredients, which she washes in baking soda. She craves peppers of all kinds and pickles them on a regular basis. She eats lots of meats of all kinds and vegetables. I have never seen her cook anything frozen unless she freezes it herself. She is pretty amazing and is a testament to good health and habits as well as a giving spirit. Attitude is a lot, too.

      Reply
  23. grahamrhenry

    I completely agree with Mr. Bailey’s take on this. I have become incensed at the ignorance (or is it knowledge masquerading as ignorance to prevent the funding which drug companies pour into the pockets of the pro-statin brigade from being cut off?) of a lot of the medical community in terms of what is good for us and what is bad?
    Why is it so rare to hear of a different approach instead of one which is based on administering dubious substances manufactured in a laboratory? What is wrong with good, old-fashioned healthy nutrition and an active lifestyle? The human body is a marvel and cholesterol serves a vital purpose. We should provide our body with the optimum conditions to synthesise cholesterol and put this to the use it is intended rather than eradicate it from our system, and we can do this by taking control of what we put into our bodies from the outset.
    Doctors should be learning more about nutrition and prescribing a correct diet rather than handing out poison pills.

    Reply
    1. Mary Richard

      Oh grahamrhenry,
      I get a form letter every time I go online to check the results of my yearly blood work. I am told what I am too high in or too low in and told to avoid saturated fats, get exercise, and maintain a healthy BMI. I follow only two. I, like Mr. Bailey, could not possibly blame my doctor for my long term statin associated misery. In fact, when she retired recently, I wrote a letter thanking her for doing the best she could. It truly is not her “fault”, but rather that (as a very wise academic explained) “doctors are like soldiers in an army”. They are taught in medical school to do what they are told and they follow protocol. That is not such a bad thing, except when those protocols are very faulty. I think we patients can teach our doctors. I say…hold your ground, and if they ask you to go elsewhere if you don’t follow their recommendations, then it is time to go. Otherwise, how are they going to learn? If enough of them rock that boat…then the powers that be have no choice lest they face a medical mutiny of some kind. It is also necessary that you forgive that doctor for any perceived or real injustice. I believe that most people go into any helping profession to help, not harm. I have to believe that.

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        This is the real point!

        Whenever, for example, the issue of saturated fat comes up, doctors seem to want to have their cake and eat it (an unfortunate metaphor) – never simply coming out straight and saying, “We got this utterly wrong for about 50 years!” Without that admission, the result is muddled mixed messages like this:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26611861

        I don’t think anyone could make sense of that article (and there are many more like it) if they knew nothing about the saturated fat row behind the scenes.

        Nothing can change until there is some open admission as to what has gone wrong. I think that every health study – e.g. of saturated fat intake vs heart disease – should be published in the media rather in the way that an opinion poll is published – i.e. the first paragraph should be about the raw uncorrected numbers. The discussion could then follow, but it would be obvious to all if the discussion didn’t really correspond to the results.

      2. Jennifer

        Celia, you are quite correct….I reckon few Drs, Nurses, Dieticians etc, know what a good, sensible diet is, and even those that do…..what incentive is there to educate the public?
        According to a BBC report yesterday, we learned that GPs ought to be paid £55 for each diagnosis of the BIG A. In a quick aside, it slipped in that GPs have been receiving cash incentives for diagnosing new cases of the LUCRATIVE 3 (B/P, diabetes, raised cholesterol) for the last 9 years.
        so…does GP care go like this?

        [Dear Mrs Cannybody,
        you are requested to attend for screening tests….a…b….c..etc .yes, we know you feel fine, but….
        If we do enough tests, it is likely we will find some tablets we can get you started on. Lets hope we find your blood sugars are slightly higher than the now accepted norm. Then we can give you tablets to counteract your shocking diet, then some others to reduce the B/P you presented with when given the alarming diagnosis. Oh, yes, and lets chuck in some statins, because now you are diabetic and have raised B/P all the dodgy research shows there is a case to rid your system of that horrible cholesterol stuff. Oh yes, and after a while we will look for signs that you are not coping with life…..and there is a £55 bonus waiting to be collected if your loved ones come and sprag on you about your absent-mindedness.
        Keep cheerful, and regards from
        Your GP. ( or should that read Surgery Manager/Accountant…well..some non-medical professional).]

        How about a public campaign advising us to eat good fresh food, in enough quantities to satisfy physiological needs to keep the body working as intended?
        We need fresh animal/fish/fowl proteins and fats, which nature provides so perfectly in the correct ratios.
        END OF.
        We do not need all those highly processed “food-like”, chemical-laden addictive packages lining miles of shelves. They play into the hands of the letter addressed to Mrs Cannybody, unless of course, Mrs Cannybody has been eating what is truly the correct food for humans…..fresh animal/fish/fowl proteins and fats!

      3. Flyinthesky

        Jennifer, can you imagine how many of these Dear Mrs Cannybody letters are sent every week and they wonder why the NHS is in trouble!
        Probably 30% of which will lead to some form of medication being prescribed.
        My response would be: Thank you for your kind invitation but if I need you “I’ll call you.”
        It is to mind, as much as a cost issue, a situation that people become fearful needlessly in most cases about their health. With the potential to make a patient worry it could actually have a negative effect on their health.
        If we want to do something constructive about peoples diets the best way would be to make cookery non optional in the national curriculum.

  24. Tom Lin

    While all side effects being officially denied, some scientists have already disclosed the mechanism between statins and DM2:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25262344

    BACKGROUND:
    Statins increase the risk of new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus. We aimed to assess whether this increase in risk is a consequence of inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR), the intended drug target.

    INTERPRETATION:
    The increased risk of type 2 diabetes noted with statins is at least partially explained by HMGCR inhibition.

    Reply
  25. Mary Richard

    Someone please tell this American that the October 23rd article in the Health section of the Telegraph in the UK is true!!!! Pinch me, really!!! Friends, have you read it?

    Reply
      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        My thoughts are that this battle will be difficult to win. So many vested interests entangled around each other. Another problem is that no-one has defined what a ‘conflict of interest’ may truly be. My own view is that we should use scientists who are completely disinterested in the area being reviewed. A cardiologist will be inherently biased towards current management and medications, even if no-one is paying them anything. Those reviewing meds for NICE should have no interest at all in the area, other than wanted to review evidence as objectively as possible.

      2. Stephen Rhodes

        Do you know which side of the statin ‘debate’ Dr Wollaston MP comes down on?
        Should she already be skeptical maybe she could be encouraged to read the essays in which Stephanie Seneff seeks to piece together the jigsaw puzzle of how we are damaged in so many ways by pharmaceuticals and diet.
        This http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/alzheimers_statins.html about links to Alzheimer’s Disease
        This http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/statins_pregnancy_sepsis_cancer_heart_failure.html about links to sepsis, cancer, and heart failure.
        The latter explaining the mechanism by which statins lower rates of heart attack while elevating rates of heart failure.

    1. Jennifer

      Mary, is it the Couch Potato article?
      Ah…yes….I well remember my very old Granny doing her daily press-ups, back in the 1950s…I THINK NOT!
      And the skinny children of my childhood playing knocky-nine-doors until Midnight, in the frosty winters in the North of England…..I THINK NOT!
      Oh, and my lovely Mam sprinting out to the gym for the afternoon, whilst we were are school….I THINK NOT!
      Granny was mentally active til her late 70s, and lived on fresh food all her life.
      The skinny kids of the 1950s and 60s were like that because bogus ‘food’ was extremely restricted, except for high days and holidays.
      My Mam was busy until the day she died in her late 70’s, (and probably would have lived longer had she not been a smoker in her younger days), making good food from scratch.
      So….what’s changed?
      Will someone please inform our leaders of this answer……..
      The dreadful ‘foods’ readily available to everyone, regardless of wealth, are the culprit!. And, they are addictive, so…please help people to know what is real food.
      All the gyms in the world will not solve the problem…..and as for Nurses being advised to take excercise in order to reduce their waistlines!…..if excercise was the solution…..Nurses, of all the workers, would be the last to need to go to the gym! Anyone recently looked at the food supplies available for night staff in NHS? I worked nights, on and off for 30 years, and the facilities were dire, believe me.

      Reply
      1. Flyinthesky

        You can’t even go to a restaurant nowadays to get real fresh food, unless you can afford high end of course, sauces and indeed complete meals are boil in the bag or sous vide as the modern terms describes them, all of these products have as much if not more influence by accountants as chefs.
        Staff canteens, NHS et al, are no different.
        There are some good ready made foods and meals, you just have to read and understand the label and ingredients. One thing you must make yourself aware and be cautious of is anything bearing the immortal words “new improved recipe” roughly translated as we have found a way of padding it out with lesser quality ingredients.

        One for you Malcolm, My wife recently went for an abdominal xray, she has crohns disease, misdiagnosed as UC for thirty years I may add. She recieved a lovely hand written letter from her consultant advising her she had faecal impaction and she, the consultant, had contacted the GP for the GP to write a prescription that could be collected in a couple of days. Why not include a prescription with the letter! It would have saved us a drive into town and the GPs time in evaluating the report and raising the prescription. It would have taken her less than a minute to do it, further, if she had named the product it may have been available OTC. The NHS, couldn’t run a raffle.
        We lived in Spain for a couple of years circa 2004, I don’t know how it is now, if you went to the pharmacy and you knew what it was, what it was for and how you spelled it you could buy it.
        I wanted, for my wife, colazide, balsalazide disodium, The pharmacist went to great lengths pawing over the Spannish equivalent of the BNF and concluded that the product was not yet licenced there and appologised profusely, try it here you’d get short shrift, see your doctor.
        You can buy 32 paracetomol in a chemist with little to no fuss but only 16 in a supermarket, are the ones in the chemist less toxic. All this has little to do with, but presented as, patient safety, It’s just retaining a protected place in the game. The NHS is it’s own worst enemy.

    2. Jennifer

      Thanks Mary. I have now read the 22nd October article to which you referred.
      All the stuff revealing the way our NHS is apparently organised, leaves me so sad. I started in the NHS in 1965, believing that all those involved in care had impecable integrity. (Of course I was very young). As unpleasant revelations are more easily exposed in the era of the internet, I find myself looking back, and now question much of what I learned and practised. It seems I must have been/maybe still are, gullible in the extreme.
      So, I am sorry to conclude, that to keep away from the “health system” seems the best way to go. Surely, Dr K. cannot be the only GP we can believe?

      Reply
  26. mikecawdery

    There is a new book by Prof. Peter Gøtzsche – “Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime- How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare”.

    It won first prize in BMA book awards 2014 and it is a book that complements Dr Kendrick’s book. I would like to recommend it.

    Reply
    1. Pat

      I bought this book to take on holiday last month based on a comment from an earlier blog. I could not put it down. My husband also read it and could not put the book down. It is very easy to read and an excellent reference book for things not be included in one’s diet – ever. Mind you Dr K’s advice to take as few drugs as possible is the best advice.

      One of the many benefits of this blog is the references to helpful things to read.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Thank you! It is a book that along with others that should be compulsory reading for all health staff in their CME courses. But unfortunately it is too truthful for the medical establishment to recommend and that is possibly the real problem in the NHS – CLOSED MINDS (excluding of course Dr K and his colleagues who are skeptical(

    2. celia

      I would like to think that I would be right to feel some encouragement that “Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime” won first prize in the BMA book awards for this year. Does this mean that the BMA endorse its conclusions? Does it also mean that doctors will read it and take note? I hope so.

      Reply
    3. JP Sand

      Hello Mike Cawdery,

      I’m linking to a couple of sites where readers can go to purchase the book you referenced: “DEADLY MEDICINE AND ORGANIZED CRIME – HOW BIG PHARMA HAS CORRUPTED HEALTHCARE”, authored by Dr. Peter Gøtzsche, founder of the Cochrane Collaboration and Director of The Nordic Cochrane Centre. Please see:

      ~ Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Medicines-Organised-Crime-Healthcare/dp/1846198844/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414684909&sr=8-1&keywords=Deadly+Medicines+and+Organized+Crime%3A+How+Big+Pharma+has+Corrupted+Healthcare

      ~ Radcliffe Health: http://www.radcliffehealth.com/shop/deadly-medicines-and-organised-crime-how-big-pharma-has-corrupted-healthcare

      Cheers to all.

      Reply
  27. Mary Richard

    Dr. Kendrick…difficult to do but surely not impossible. You are correct in that those who review studies should be unbiased, non invested scientists who simply consider the data and nothing more. I think it can and will be done if enough people demand it. Statistics is not for everyone. Even the most intelligent among us must be trained to understand statistics. I think it is fair to say that we all realize statistics can be manipulated to state whatever the “invested” person or entity wants them to say. One really needs to love the science of statistics and be very ethical in interpreting any results. That is the tricky part!

    People are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. If they were not, none of us would be communicating on this blog. And, unfortunately, in America, almost every person you talk to in their 40’s, and over, is taking a statin as though it held the fountain of youth. Vanity oh vanity!!! I continue to believe that vascular disease occurs as a result of a constellation of causes (many of which are not discovered or understood fully to date) which create the “perfect storm” and attack people at any age, but particularly in middle age. People who use cocaine or any stimulants popular among the illicit drug pushers and users are vulnerable at any age. Thus far, we have only been successful at trying to avoid taking responsibility for our own health or applying bandaids such as stents and bypass. Their future is certainly questionable. Using a vein to by-pass an artery is like sending out a boy to do a man’s job. Veins are not meant to handle the difficult work of an artery. I am hopeful stem cell research might be the answer for many.

    I continue to believe that saturated fats are not harmful if consumed with vegetables (particularly raw), low carbs (carbohydrates with a low glycemic index), and that the amount of food we consume in a day should be consistent with the amount of exercise we take. That means, the more one eats anything, the more active one must be. Calories are calories unless you consume a variety of vegetables which are low in caloric value and are such excellent anti-oxidants. I think combining ANY kind of fat with sugars (be they simple or complex) will cost you good health and make you gain weight. Use the natural sugars in fruits to your advantage by consuming them at least two hours away from your meals, not directly after, during or before. And, some fruits contain too much sugar and should be avoided completely. I do think having desserts once in a while is okay. I believe that when your body gets healthier, it tells you what you need and you will crave those things. The harder your metabolic system has to work to digest the foods you choose, the more efficient that machine you call your body will work.

    Probably the most remarkable change I have felt since getting off statins and eating foods containing saturated fat and cholesterol is that my memory and outlook have greatly improved. I feel joy again. I had not realized how much joy I had lost. Sometimes I feel like Rip Van Winkle. Waking up is a good feeling. I wish for and hope that the physical discomfort will improve. My experience with cholesterol lowering was that almost immediately, I began to have terrible, unabated flu like pain that made me miserable. I wish I had known. However, we all have some thorn in our sides. This is mine. If I can help others to avoid my fate…it will not have been in vain. And, I hope to God I can keep an open and positive mind about the future of healthcare.
    That, among many things, is what keeps me going.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer

      I strongly endorse the Seneff papers as referenced in Stephen Rhodes’s blog of 27th.
      I still enjoy regular reminders as to why I must never be cajoled, ever again, to unquestionably take ‘precautionary’ medications.
      Are our doctors too busy to read these papers? This info has been available for 5 years or more, yet NICE seem oblivious of their existence. Shame on them.
      We are yet to see the full impact of the time bomb fizzing away regarding statinisation of healthy individuals in our population, for sure as eggs is eggs, it will come!
      An oft-made claim, is “what happens across the pond….will happen here within 10 years”…..So….you doctors, take a look at the damage already inflicted on many people in the USA , and ask yourselves…”can we dismiss the reality before our very eyes?”.

      Reply
      1. Mary Richard

        Jennifer, right you are!! Everyone who has not already ditched these poisons in my world at least are those to whom I ask. “Are you not afraid of the long term use of a statin?” They look at me as though I had grown a third eye (which I have figuratively) and say “ya know…I have been wondering about that..you hear so much. Those studies are so hard to read and I don’t know what to believe.” I proceed to tell them stories of many people who have been damaged (beyond repair) and how important it is to leave our livers alone and let them do what they do.I refer them to Statin Nation always, every time.

        My coming of age in this debacle is based on both experience and the teachings of those far more learned than I. But, many times the truth is hiding in plain sight. You can learn an awful lot about the past by listening to the elderly who have survived long enough and well enough to share their powerful insights into how they lived their lives.

        Actually, you Europeans always are at least 10 years ahead of us in fashion and many other things Jennifer. Had it not been for Dr. Kendrick’s wonderful book and blog…I would not be feeling very well today. He made a powerful case for me as did Dr. Graveline. I think the Europeans have many brilliant minds. You read and quote the classics as though it were scripture. It really does not matter that much to me…most of us have our roots in Europe anyway. God Bless you all. And on behalf of the we Americans who started any of the mess, I apologize, too. We are a spoiled lot!! We love that instant gratification. When I see all these reality shows, I am aghast that these people are characterized as the real housewives or the real this or that. So out of touch with reality is Los Angeles that it is pathetic. Most of us are just hard working, loving parents and spouses who put one foot in front of the other day after day trying very hard to make sense of it all. It is a distortion of reality, not real at all. I hope you all realize that. Our children tend to look at what they see on TV as reality and their everyday lives as some kind of dream or nightmare they have to endure.

      2. celia

        Thank you Stephen for the Stephanie Seneff link. I have printed off both these papers, as I don’t want to lose them. They may also be ammunition If needed when my husband next visits the doctor to discuss his cholesterol levels.

      3. Mary Richard

        Jennifer, I too really like Dr. Seneff. She has it right. I also came across this short video sent by my cousin who just stopped taking statins. I hope you know that we are all on the same page with this debate here in America although I first learned about it more specifically thru our European friends, particularly through Statin Nation. Here is a free video from Dr. Brownstein.
        https://w3.newsmax.com/LP/Health/DRB/Brownstein-Statins-Video?ns_mail_uid=24941528&ns_mail_job=1592625_10292014&s=al&dkt_nbr=bdvoqp1y

    2. Flyinthesky

      “Thus far, we have only been successful at trying to avoid taking responsibility for our own health” True enough but only to a certain extent. You have to factor in that we have been conditioned and persuaded to contract that responsibility out to “health care professionals”, the net result is they have generated a need far beyond that which they can provide. There’s no money to be made from people who can look after themselves. Lets be mindful that the drug companies prime concern isn’t for the good of mankind but for the benefit of the balance sheet.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        I was recently re-reading Dr Marcia Angell’s book “The Truth about Drug Companies………………” and I came across a note I made therein (e-books where annotations are possible) regarding a speech by Alan F. Holmer, president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), where in his tireless crusade against any form of price regulation, he put it this way, “Voters do not want to jeopardize the miracle of life-saving innovation in modern medicines.” (Location ~730 in Kindle). It reads:
        “What nonsense! Many of the drugs are little better than the placebos they are tested against sugar pills with low efficacy and very large NNTs. In this Modern era the real snakeoil sales men are Big Pharma and their acolytes. It is they who invent diseases and drugs with which to treat them which are marginally better than sugar pills requiring huge treatment groups to demonstrate those trivial benefits. They then use spurious and dubious epidemiiological studies to *establish* associations that are then used to create algorithms that *PROVE* the diagnosis(???) and the need to treat with the drug. DEFINITELY SNAKEOIL SALESMEN!

    3. David Bailey

      Mary, from my own personal experience with Simvastatin, I suggest you try to exercise the affected muscles as much as possible. I asked for (and was prescribed) diclofenac, which reduced the discomfort a lot, and after about 9 months I was clear of the problem. I kept lowering the dose of diclofenac as the symptoms eased.

      Reply
      1. Mary Richard

        David, thanks I actually tried an over the counter anti-inflammatory this a.m. and I was able to endure longer. However, I am looking into your solution at my next appointment. I have three friends with post polio syndrome. I cannot imagine dealing with it without statins, much less with them. I am really trying. It has been a little over a year now. I am pushing through. Thanks for your kindness. I am so impressed by all you have taught me.

      2. David Bailey

        Mary,

        I want to stress that I didn’t have PPS – I just hought I did before I discovered the real cause! I had polio as a child, but I guess it was a fairly light attack, and it hasn’t impeded me much in life. The Simvastatin symptoms seems identical to the PPS symptoms as described on the internet and were confined to my polio leg.

        It is obviously hard to be sure, but I felt that suppressing the discomfort and exercising was the right thing to do – and it seems to work well for me. I mainly went for walks in the hills and bike rides – gradually getting back to the normal distances that I did before all the trouble started! For me, at least, diclofenac seems to work for much longer than ibuprofen – but I guess it maybe doesn’t matter what you use provided you can exercise without your muscles cramping or going weak.

  28. Steve Gold

    You could investigate arginine and / or citrulline as a natural aid instead of any NSAIDs. The two amino acids work synergistically by increasing endothelial NO which in turn vasodilates blood vessels so aiding blood flow hence nutrient delivery and toxic element removal. If you suffer from high blood pressure it may help as well. Just be careful if you’re on blood pressure meds – you may have to come off them! You’ll need to be taking about 6-9 grams arginine and 5 or 6 grams of citrulline, once a day. The readily soluble powder forms aren’t expensive. The arginine takes some getting used to taste wise (a bit more unpleasant than soluble paracetamol). The citrulline is actually quite pleasant – very tart. Simply mix together. If you’ve recently suffered from a heart attack then stick with citrulline only. Same applies if you’re prone to cold sores. As ever, not medical advice and do your own research but all the above is backed up by studies.

    Reply
    1. Professor Göran Sjöberg

      What about E-vitamine?

      I am using 1600 IU daily, as my only heart medicine, and my unstable angina is now only an unpleasant memory and I feel great.

      Any connections?

      Reply
      1. Mary Richard

        Professor and all who have responded with your excellent recommendations, I am trying all. I use the acronym A D E K as a reminder of the most important vitamins I need. I pondered all we have blogged about and have come to the realization that things (especially with regard to the food industry) will not change overnight if all. Why? Our world economy would fall apart if we all stopped eating all these prepared foods or even fresh laden with God knows what. I do however feel the statin issue can and will be solved. Oh another pill will come along…and they already have for diabetes. Big Pharma is not going away anytime soon. People are as addicted to the concept of popping a pill (for any malady) as the heroin addict is to getting his fix. There are constant studies being conducted for new diabetes medications and treatments. Many of the extended release variety are approved today. People are not of the mindset to eat well. Those of you who do…will be the healthiest and will survive. Those who don’t? Well, although Herbert Spencer could never have envisioned our current state of affairs, we can rest assured it is still called “survival of the fittest”, not the fattest. To the lucky few who will see that how they live their lives and how they teach their offspring and loved ones to live their lives, science will study you and marvel at your ability to sustain good health. One day, we may all be forced to “get it” as all these potions may not be available to modern man. He may very well destroy himself and his food supply. I hate to think of it, but it is possible. For now, I think we must tackle the statin issue with all the vigor we can for the sake of those to come and those who still have a chance at some element of good health. We must take our role as leaders in whatever capacity we can and set a good example. There is no turning back.

  29. Mary Richard

    According to the most recent information from the NIH in America, the third leading killer (if you can believe anything any government reports) in America today is overdose by pain killers. Those statistics are presented from the years 2000-2008, the most recent and that number represents those 48 and over ( same group most prescribed statins during those same years). The first two are cancer and, of course, heart disease. Is it any wonder that so many people are in pain for reasons they cannot understand? If this is accurate, then keeping people away from statins will no doubt alleviate this problem the NIH states(for the first time in its recent history) surpassed automobile accidents as the third leading killer. And, apparently it has had no impact whatsoever on heart disease. SNAKE OIL SALESMEN IS PUTTING IT MILDLY!!!

    Reply
  30. Natasha Martin

    I wish to give you my condolences on your father’s passing. Our parents are our foundation and we are who we are largely owing to them. RIP Mr Kendrick Senior.

    Kind regards,

    Natasha Martin, ND

    Reply
  31. Sally Macgregor

    Hi – I have come to this discussion a bit late – finding blogs on the internet is always a bit serendipitous, but I’m so pleased to have discovered it. To add my two pennorth to the statin discussion: I was prescribed simvastatin for raised cholesterol in 2009. Like many people I had no reason to think they would do me anything but good. I wasn’t aware of any adverse effects. When my “bad” cholesterol continued to rise, I was advised to double the dose, went on holiday and felt dreadful: headache, nausea, weak and achy – just plain ill. When it was clear that I didn’t have food poisoning, or flu, I wondered whether it could be the increased statin dose, stopped taking it – and felt better! My GP then prescribed ezetimebe, which has the honour of being a drug no one can pronounce – or spell…in 2012 I had a bad time, health wise, with many medical investigations, including coronary and neck artery scans. Both were absolutely fine. I did my own, personal, risk/benefit analysis and knocked off all the medication. My “bad cholesterol” has steadily dropped. I follow Sir Rory Collins’ pronouncements with interest, since hearing him on the radio enthusiastically promoting the lowered threshold for statin prescribing – on the basis of indisputable evidence which he had seen, and knew to be true – but was not at liberty to share with anyone. I did some googling – and discovered the links to Pfizer etc. And despaired.

    As a rather horrid coda – a close friend had a small stroke a few weeks back. Despite a normal cholesterol level, she was put on statins as a preventative measure – and promptly developed severe jaundice from which she is still recovering. I have no idea what the data/evidence on stroke prevention is – but it has been awful, seeing her so ill.

    Sally Macgregor

    Reply

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