After a damaging delay over safety concerns, Crestor superstatin finally won FDA
approval in August 2003. AstraZeneca’s CEO has pledged to do whatever it
takes to persuade doctors to prescribe Crestor superstatin, including launching an
estimated $1 billion first-year promotional campaign.
In an editorial in the October 2003 issue of the British medical
journal, The Lancet, the editor Dr. Richard Horton wrote:
“AstraZeneca's tactics in marketing its cholesterol-lowering drug,
rosuvastatin (Crestor superstatin), raise disturbing questions about how drugs enter
clinical practice and what measures exist to protect patients from
inadequately investigated medicines.”
Crestor’s safety cannot be assured. Bayer withdrew cerivastatin (Baycol)
in August 2001 after the occurrence of unexpected cases of fatal
rhabdomyolysis. The 80 mg. dose of Crestor was withdrawn by AstraZeneca
because of safety concerns. Critics are even anxious about the 40 mg.
dose. The finding of protein in the urine and microscopic blood in the
urine associated with Crestor’s use are additional worries. Since there
is no reliable data that Crestor actually decreases heart attacks and
strokes, as well as, lower cholesterol levels -- doctors should pause
before prescribing Crestor. Physicians must educate patients about
Crestor and its lack of long-term safe evidence.