Pharma giant AstraZeneca has declared that its cholesterol drug Crestor was not significantly better than Pfizer's Lipitor at preventingplaque from building up in one of the arteries that feed blood tothe heart. However, AstraZeneca said in a news release that therewas a trend toward better performance on Crestor and that using adifferent way of calculating the amount of plaque in the artery thedifference was significant. Possibly the largest impact stemming from these findings is thatdoctors prescribing Crestor now, may make the prescription switchto Lipitor when a generic version of the best selling drug in theworld becomes available. Pfizer, which sells the cholesterol drug, has been battlinggenerics manufacturer Ranbaxy to protect the Lipitor cash cow for afew more years. |
Ranbaxy had been pushing to sell the drug in 2010,when the basic patent expires; Pfizer had argued that various otherpatents should keep the drug locked up until 2016. Now the companies have settled their legal fight and Ranbaxy is inthe clear to start selling generic atorvastatin in November 2011.Pfizer's Ian Read, president of worldwide of pharmaceuticaloperations, called the deal "a win-win-win because it ispro-patient, pro-competition and pro-intellectual property." The Crestor study was a 104-week, randomized, double-blind,parallel group, multi-center clinical trial of 1,300 patientscomparing the 40 milligram top dose of Crestor to the 80 mg topdose of Lipitor. An ultrasound device on a catheter inserted into aheart artery and used to take pictures of plaque thickness. Buildup of cholesterol and other fats along the walls of the bloodvessels (a process known as atherosclerosis) decreases blood flowand, therefore, the oxygen supply to the heart, brain, and otherparts of the body. Lowering blood levels of cholesterol and fatsmay help to decrease your chances of getting heart disease , angina (chest pain), strokes , and heart attacks.
In addition to taking a cholesterol-lowering medication, makingcertain changes in your daily habits can also lower yourcholesterol blood levels. These results come of a bit of a surprise to Astra because a studyearlier showed Crestor in fact could reverse the buildup of arteryplaque. However, the head-to-head comparison apparently shows it'snot. Crestor, or rosuvastatin, is used together with lifestyle changes(diet, weight-loss, exercise) to reduce the amount of cholesteroland other fatty substances in your blood.
Rosuvastatin is in aclass of medications called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins).It works by slowing the production of cholesterol in the body. Along with medications, is important to eat a low-cholesterol,low-fat diet, which includes cottage cheese, fat-free milk, fish,vegetables, poultry, and egg whites. Use monounsaturated oils suchas olive, peanut, and canola oils or polyunsaturated oils such ascorn, safflower, soy, sunflower, cottonseed, and soybean oils.Avoid foods with excess fat in them such as meat (especially liverand fatty meat), egg yolks, whole milk, cream, butter, shortening,pastries, cakes, cookies, gravy, peanut butter, chocolate, olives,potato chips, coconut, cheese (other than cottage cheese), coconutoil, palm oil, and fried foods. Written by Sy Kraft.
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