More drugs are not the only answer to the risk of heart attacks

Posted on

The Guardian has reported this morning that:

A weight loss injection could reduce the risk of heart attacks and benefit the cardiovascular health of millions of adults across the UK, in what could be the largest medical breakthrough since statins, according to a study.

It found that participants taking the medication semaglutide, the active ingredient in brands including Wegovy and Ozempic, had a 20% lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or death due to cardiovascular disease.

I am not doubting the report. Nor am I denying that this might be a powerful discovery. But I also sense a number of other things.

One is the sense of glee there must be in the pharmaceutical company responsible for this. There is nothing more profitable than a preventive medicine that will be prescribed to large numbers of people 'just in case'. They will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Then there will be those asking 'how do we pay for this?' I do, of course, have answers. However, my fear is that essential services to those who are really ill will suffer to meet the needs of those currently being mistreated by the medico-pharma-big sugar industrial complex.

What I mean by that is that however good this drug might be, nothing could reduce the risk of heart attacks more than reducing the amount of sugar in diets, the amount of ultra-processed food we eat, and people doing more regular exercise without the need to go to anything like a gym - a good walk at a reasonable pace done quite often would do just as well. These facts are not being mentioned because that would reduce big business profits, which would never do.

The risk of heart attacks could, in other words, be much better solved by people learning to have much better lifestyles, which would often be more enjoyable than those they already have. But this is not on the NHS agenda of either the Tories - whose Health Secretary is married to the boss of British Sugar in a coincidence that is almost staggering in its absurdity - or of Wes Streeting for Labour. Why is that, I wonder?

I did take medical advice on the drafting of this post. 

Thanks for reading this post.
You can share this post on social media of your choice by clicking these icons:

You can subscribe to this blog's daily email here.

And if you would like to support this blog you can, here: