Cholesterol, Catalyst and the ABC

Cholesterol, Catalyst and the ABC

posted in: Health News | 2

Last October, the ABC showed two consecutive episodes of their science program called Catalyst.

The program sparked controversy, because the two-part special described the link between saturated fats, cholesterol and heart disease as a “medical myth”, and downplayed the benefits of anti-cholesterol drugs we know as statins.

Health groups like the Heart Foundation were outraged.  Pharmaceutical drug companies were outraged.  Medical academics were outraged

BUT, the public was actually CONFOUNDED!  ABC succeeded in generating interest in these opinions but caused further confusion amongst the viewing public.

After all, the percentage of ABC’s audience, who are taking statin, have not been offered a reasonable and adequate explanation of the risk-versus-benefit ratio of the particular statin drug they have been prescribed.

Now, there’s been a belated admission by the ABC:  Catalyst demonstrated bias against mainstream medicine.  (Underscore mine.)

What’s that?

Bias against mainstream medicine?  Parts of which are responsible for adverse events, life-changing side-effects, poor long-term studies on safety and efficacy?

What an interesting comment in an environment, where many media outlets have maintained an ongoing bias against complementary medicines for as long as I can remember, especially since more and more informed consumers are asking questions about their medicines.

In an open and honest society, can’t an opinion be offered on the ABC any longer?

Has big Pharma infiltrated the ranks of the ABC?  Or, has medical academia, long time beneficiaries of research grants, interfered here?

My view?

There were concerns about statin drugs.  Patients have started questioning their doctors more about statin use:

  • “Why am I actually taking this drug?”
  • “What benefits might I see?”
  • “If I haven’t had a heart attack or stroke, is this drug an appropriate option?”
  • “What food choice and lifestyle interventions can you suggest as an option to statin therapy?”
  • “If I stop this statin drug, what will happen?”
  • “I’ve been feeling strange since I started on this statin drug, and now I understand why. How come you didn’t take any notice of my feedback?”

Health practitioners aren’t comfortable with questions like this. Patients are not supposed to question their prescriber.

Or are they?

Well done to the ABC for highlighting some of the challenges we face in the delicate balance between medical evidence and medical marketing.

What a pity that medical censorship has intervened.

I’m looking forward to the next instalment of “bias against complementary medicine” and the deafening silence from all areas of vested interests in keeping meaningful information in the media.

That couldn’t happen here is Australia.

Or could it?


2 Responses

  1. Camilo
    | Reply

    Thanks a very balanced opinion, I am near 70 and my only medication at least since early 1981 was many years ago for a fungal infection, still a blood donor till they kick me out because I am to old? but I have a few friends using statins, but all of of them with very high (stratospheric) triglycerides and very low HDL, but none of them are prepared to do any change to their high sugars/carbs diet and the crappy oils/fats the consume. Most of them have complications since they are on statins, memory etc. Most people like to go to the doctor tell them their are OK , have this pill for the rest of your life and go home, but they have to continue coming back to fix the other complications of the first, 2nd, 3rd etc drug.

    Sure GP’s, Specialist, and pharmacist as well do not like hard questions, and many people they trust them more than god.

    Sure I can write a few long pages but I will continue the reading for now.

    Regards Camilo

  2. Camilo
    | Reply

    I forgot to mention that the ABC few weeks ago axed the Catalyst program, and announced 17 one-hour documentaries, thanks we have the internet and VPN to let me enjoy many TV programs the ABC or SBS are not prepared to broadcast, even from the friendly BBC or Channel 4 from the UK.

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