Big Pharm

edited December 2010 in Other Stuff

29 May 2008 A traditional Chinese rice preparation can prevent a heart attack victim having another attack – but a drug company has had it banned in the US.

The red yeast rice product, xuezhikang, has been tested against placebo on 1,445 heart patients – and with startling results. It reduced the occurrence of a further heart attack by 36.9 per cent, death from heart disease by 31 per cent, stroke by 44 per cent, and the need for heart surgery by 48.6 per cent.

But you can’t buy the produce in the US, because drug manufacturer Merck has succeeded in having it banned. The rice naturally contains lovastatin and other statin-like substances called monacolins, which are used in Merck’s statin drug. Astonishingly, the company successfully claimed that the rice had breached the patent for its chemical formulation.

The study demonstrated that the rice was just as effective as the statin drug, but without the drug’s side effects of muscle problems and hepatic toxicity. This is because the rice contains far lower amounts of lovastatin, and they are more easily assimilated because they are naturally in the food.

(Source: Journal of the American Geriatric Society, 2007; 55: 1015- 22).

How enraging!!

Comments

  • Makes me want to smack someone around.

  • WOW. big business at it again. how terrifyingly sad.

  • Wonder if the ban applys to the uk? my doc put me on statins but i heard from a doctor called Malcolm Kendrick you were four times more likely to get Alzheimers so i stopped taking them. Statins are the most widely used and most proffitable drug in the world, Xuezhikang sounds just the ticket. Can’t see Merck stopping the Chinese, they have flooded the worlds pharmacys with fake medicines, Big pharm is afraid to act because they fear giving it exposure will cause a public panic, lack of confidence. Anyone can set up as a wholesaler in medicines, there’s no regulation in europe, British dealers buy from Greek warehouses, its cheaper there than in Britian, 90% of medicine in Africa is fake, hundreds of thousand die needlessly because their medicine is useless.

  • it’s instances like this that I question whether or not it’s feasible for Codex to really go into full implementation on a global basis. It could potentially lead to war if it tries to restrict countries from making remedies like this from being available and marketed. So, if it’s available in China, those who can afford it will go there and get it.

  • The ban on red yeast rice recommended as or used as a drug has been in place for almost 10 years due to its patent infringement of Mevacor (lovastatin). However, a federal judge ruled shortly after the ban that red yeast rice could still be sold as a dietary supplement. Many people buy it and use it as an alternative to low dose Mevacor. Like Mevacor, it is not without risks. Persons taking red yeast rice still need to have their liver enzymes checked regularly for liver damage and, like other statins, it interferes with the body’s ability to make CoQ10 so this should be supplemented.

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