Bad Pharma And The Statin Wars

It’s been amusing to watch former Pfizer executive John LaMattina try to pick apart Ben Goldacre’s new book, Bad Pharma,  a powerful indictment of the industry in which LaMattina used to work. This is not the occasion to get into the details of this battle, but as an aside let me just say that I would advise any representatives of the pharmaceutical industry to think very carefully before choosing to take on Goldacre.

What I want to focus on here is an assertion, accepted by both Goldacre and LaMattina, that is simply mistaken. LaMattina’s latest post is a response to a brief statement by Goldacre in his book that there has never been a head-to-head clinical trial comparing statins. Both writers accept this statement as a fact.

I think it is very curious that neither Goldacre not LaMattina remember the PROVE-IT TIMI 22 trial published in NEJM in 2004.

Click here to read the full post on Forbes.

John LaMattina

John LaMattina

Dr Ben Goldacre, author of the Bad Science col...

Ben Goldacre


  1. Michael Mirochna, MD says

    Really, the point should be that we have good evidence statins work in secondary prevention and less evidence they work in primary prevention. Also, the whole titrating statins to target LDL goals is garbage and is a waste of time. We also should include that fibrates, niacin, and zetia are not helpful.

    Regarding head to head statin trials, Crestor and Lipitor were just compared in last few years with regards to plaque regression or Carotid intimal thickness I believe.

  2. Statin Island says

    And there’s David Graham’s observational study comparing statin montherapies and statins plus fibrates on rhabdo rates.

    Yes, not exactly about efficacy.

  3. There is another clinical trial that compared tow different statins, the IDEAL study published in JAMA in 2005:
    However, PROVE-IT and IDEAL were never looked at as a comparison between two different statin drugs. These trials were designed to study the effects of different levels of LDL-C reduction, using high vs. low dose statin therapy.

  4. There is another clinical trial comparing two different statins (atorvastatin and simvastatin), the IDEAL study, published in JAMA 2005, However, the IDEAL study and the PROVE-IT trial were never seen as studies comparing two different statins. They were designed to test the efficacy of different levels of LDL-C reduction, using high vs. low dose statin therapy.

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