Kids On statins: Does Pharma Target New Demographic?
Controversy over the aggressive new cholesterol guidelines for kids. Can this open the door to a new demographic for Pharma?
I stand in awe. Despite admitting "not 'a whole lot' of data on pediatric use of cholesterol-lowering drugs, recent research showed that the drugs were generally safe for children" and that "average total cholesterol levels as well as LDL and HDL cholesterol have remained stable, while triglyceride levels have dropped, based on data collected from 1988 to 2000" it seems we have an "epidemic" of hypercholesterolemia that now requires drug therapy:
The nation’s pediatricians are recommending wider cholesterol screening for children and more aggressive use of cholesterol-lowering drugs starting as early as the age of 8 in hopes of preventing adult heart problems.
The new guidelines were to be issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday.
I can see it now: a young, overweight teenager with a family history of heart disease is placed on a statin drug. She later becomes pregnant.
Given the unknown implications of statins in pregnancy, one wonders if we should know more before promulgating such far-reaching recommendations.
Addendum 8 Jul 2008: Statins for kids: the New York Times reconsiders.