Today is the end of an era folks. Lipitor, the #1 selling branded medication in the world is going off patent. This means, instead of the $115 a month Pfizer has been charging, it is now a race toward the bottom for generic manufacturers to produce and sell it for hopefully $4 a month.
Despite Lipitor’s wild popularity, as you can see below, either 96 or 98% of people (depending on whether or not you have prior heart disease) who take Lipitor see no benefit. It does do what it says– it lowers your cholesterol. But prolonging your life and increasing the quality of your life is much more complicated than just lowering your cholesterol. Here are the numbers for:
Those without heart disease (just high cholesterol):
For those with a heart disease diagnosis:
Taking chronic medications like Lipitor is quite similar to receiving vaccines. You receive vaccines to not only protect yourself, but to also protect society. At the individual level, Lipitor is a very bad investment. At the population level, a very small percentage of Lipitor takers are helped. As you can see, if you’re a gambler, it’s not a very good bet to take Lipitor. And if you look at the entire population of people, less than 4% of those taking Lipitor will actually be helped.
This is modern medicine folks, bottled up and sold via daytime television.
And by the way, see that chemical structure up there. That’s called atorvastatin. It’s also called Lipitor. If anything changes in that chemical structure, it’s fundamentally different and can no longer be called atorvastatin. So if any of you are wondering if a generic is better/different from a branded medication. It’s simply not. If a generic medication were different/better, it would be a fundamentally different chemical compound. And that applies to all medications and vitamins. Don’t let marketers fool you that there’s a benefit to spending $111 more a month on a branded drug.
The latest self in my backyard.
Hany Farid has come up with a nice solution to solve that self-esteem problem so many of us face when we see photos of beautiful people in magazines– use a computer algorithm to grade how much photoshop altering was used and mandate that every altered image is labeled with this grade. Level 1 is minute changes and 5 is fabricated fantasy.
This of course won’t solve our country’s self-esteem problem, but it’s an interesting way of raising awareness.
All 370,000 road fatalities between 2001 and 2009 in the US.
My hope is that one day automobiles will be as safe as flying. This is one of the largest health issues in America that we seem to forget. Life expectancy is one of the most important health metrics we use. Life expectancy for a population is significantly reduced when young people are disproportionately killed. Car and motorcycle crashes disproportionately kill young people, just as HIV/AIDS disproportionately kills young people in South Africa:
In less than two decades, life expectancy in South Africa dropped almost 20 years because so many young people were dying!
Our current life expectancy in America is about 78 years. If we made the automobile as safe as the airplane (and saved those 370,000 young souls over the past 8 years), our life expectancy would grow by many years, which is much, much more significant than anything coming from doctors with their pills and scalpels.
Susannah is an amazing writer. Four days ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer. This is her recollection of the events of that day and the appointments leading up to it.
It’s weird, I guess, to go through life thinking something like this won’t happen to you – that everyone is impervious to such things. And then it happens to someone as verbose and gifted as Susannah and she gives it such great words, man. I’m kind of at a loss. My own verbiage doesn’t come close.
So, anyway. Please take a read.
One of the scariest possible things to happen to someone and one of the most inhumane experiences surrounding it. Unfortunately, this is status quo here in America.
The Business About My Breasts – Forbes
We spent a little over $50 billion on Black Friday this year.
We spend a little over $6 billion on healthcare every day.
I wonder if instead of putting disgusting photos of cancer on cigarette boxes, we legislated that all ex-smokers were taxidermied with a cigarette hanging out of their mouth, they’d quit?
P.S. I almost bought this in London. Made me laugh, especially how life-like it is in real life.