You can't call AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan (photo) overzealous. Befitting a chief exec in a regulated industry, Brennan demurred when reporters asked how Crestor sales might be affected by the highly publicized Jupiter study presented over the weekend. During a conference call with reporters, Brennan referred to "a flurry of estimates" from analysts about Jupiter's impact, "some of them pretty bullish" but said he "would urge caution when forecasting the speed of such changes."
And Brennan was quick to note that AstraZeneca won't promote Crestor as a preventative in healthy patients at risk of heart problems--which is the use Jupiter appears to support--until FDA gave its OK to that indication. (That would of course be off-label marketing, and as such, against the rules.)
But in the meantime, he would admonish folks who extrapolate that Jupiter data to other statin drugs. The other drugs in Crestor's class might not show the same reduction in heart attacks as in deaths for patients with elevated C-reactive protein, he said. "We know all statins are not created equal," he said.
Brennan also hinted that treatment guidelines might be revised to reflect the new data on Crestor--and that revision could expand the drug's use to millions of new patients. We'll all just have to wait and see.