Study: Data doesn't support women's Lipitor use

Should women stop using statins? A new study is taking issue with the efficacy--or lack thereof--of the cholesterol fighters when women are the ones using them. Analyzing a group of studies that looked at Pfizer's Lipitor and other statins, Cornell University researchers found that the drugs didn't prevent heart attacks in women with cardiovascular risks in any statistically significant way, although they did in men.

Lipitor's label already points out a dearth of efficacy data in women, the researchers said. But Lipitor advertising typically doesn't. "Our findings indicate that each year, reasonably healthy women spend billions of dollars on drugs in the hope of preventing heart attacks, but that scientific evidence supporting their hope does not exist,” the authors concluded.

The study wasn't published in a medical journal, but a law journal: the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. In fact, Pfizer was sued back in 2006 by a class of women and seniors over the lack of outcomes data supporting their use of the drug. At press time we couldn't find out whether the suit has been resolved, but we'll update when we do.

- read the Science Daily article