Monday, February 4, 2008

Drug Abuse?

This is an interesting piece calling into question the efficacy of statins, whose use is essentially de rigeur for anyone threatening a heart problem (which incidentally, high cholesterol does not necessarily portend, so there are a few pieces of conventional wisdom being challenged here). Good stuff, and once again an example of the incredible amount of influence that the pharma industry wields; they have, via clever marketing, quite literally told doctors how to practice medicine, and wouldn't you know it, the "suggestions" happen to benefit their promulgators to the tune of billions of dollars.

Here is a piece in a similar vein.

This is tangentially related, but obviously much more pertinent to the ongoing circus of political "debates." It reminds me of memes like "John McCain is a straight-talking maverick" and "George Bush is a real down-home everyman." I've never understood how those sorts of assertions could scan with the public, but perhaps it really has to do with our fundamental tendency to favor gossipy descriptions over objective information.