walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

anyone around here remember fen-phen?

This is all operating out of my head, without reference to backup research, so I could get details very wrong. But here's more or less what I remember happening:

Some data on fen-phen "working", i.e. people lost weight and as long as they kept taking fen-phen, it stayed off.

Some data on obesity as a risk factor leading to a variety of diseases and death.

Some discussion about the "safety" of fen-phen.

Fen-phen takes off like a rocket (I mean, come on: legal speed that helps you lose weight? What's not to love? Oh, yeah. The heart thing. Right.).

Right around the time the heart thing was just starting to be whispered about, but long before the lawsuits that would ultimately do in, what, American Home Products (googling says yes! And that's now part of/called Wyeth), a number of _very well meaning_ activist/consumer advocate organization, which, IIRC, may have included Consumers Union and/or Center for Science in the Public Interest assembled the above three sets of data to put out guidelines on where the line is for risk/benefit (how fat do ya have to be to justify taking this crack, er, crap) to work out in your long-term favor.

NOW we know that the "safety" data of fen-phen wasn't good data. I don't think we're that far off from a consensus that obesity per se isn't quite as risky as people have been making it out to be (which is to say, the hysteria is nearing a crest, so if your immediate reaction is, horrors! She's downplaying the nastiest thing that could possibly happen to you, then you're part of that wave that's _still_ building.). As a result, even these very well meaning organizations contributed to the problem.

Wyeth does not seem to make/market any statin. Their latest high profile offering seems to be Lybrel.
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