Primary care providers complain about two things primarily these days: That too many patients consult (and believe) “Dr. Google” more than they believe their PCP and far too many of their physician and provider colleagues are on the take from Big Pharma.
As to the second complaint, there is much hullabaloo over the use of statin drugs, which many in traditional medicine circles rely on and trust implicitly, while alternative medicine providers find to be unacceptably toxic. [To the latter, there is an argument to be made based on scientific evidence indicating statins cause harmful side effects including rapid aging, brain damage, and diabetes, among other problems.]
One of biggest defenders of statin use is Dr. Steve Nissen, a prominent cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic. As noted by nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung in this Medium post, Nissen is a well-paid advocate for statin drugs:
Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a leading cardiologist from the UK, along with Dr. Maryann Demasi and Dr. Robert Lustig, and who does not take any money from drug makers wrote an excellent commentary arguing that the cholesterol hypothesis is dead. In response, cardiologist Dr. Steven Nissen claimed that “Internet-driven cults” were scaring people away from statins. Both are cardiologists. Who is right and who is wrong? The public has no way to know.
But the public needs to know this, as Fung pointed out: Nissen is on the payroll of Big Pharma. He was paid $80,000 from drug firms last year alone, taking in payments from some of the largest drug makers (Pfizer, Amgen, and Astra Zeneca). But by complaining that scary “Internet-driven cults” are driving people away from statins, he uses scare tactics of his own to push statins, claiming that without them scores of people would die — as he cashes checks from statin makers. (Click to Site)