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What is Crestor?

Crestor is in a group of drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, or “statins.” Rosuvastatin reduces levels of “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) and triglycerides in the blood, while increasing levels of “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL).

Crestor is used to lower cholesterol and triglycerides (types of fat) in the blood.

Crestor is also used to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other heart complications in people with diabetes, coronary heart disease, or other risk factors

According to a Public Citizen report on October 24, 2004, Crestor posed an increased rate of kidney damage in patients using the medication by 75 times higher than in patients taking other cholesterol drugs. In addition, other 29 reports of acute renal failure or renal insufficiency.

If you or a loved one has suffered any serious side effects from Crestor, contact us for a free consultation with any of our experienced attorneys at 212-732-3665. You may very well be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

With the government’s blessing, a drug giant is about to expand the market for its blockbuster cholesterol medication Crestor to a new category of customers: as a preventive measure for millions of people who do not have cholesterol problems.

Some medical experts question whether this is a healthy move.

They point to mounting concern that cholesterol medications — known as statins and already the most widely prescribed drugs in the United States — may not be as safe a preventive medicine as previously believed for people who are at low risk of heart attacks or strokes.

Statins have been credited with saving thousands of lives every year with relatively few side effects, and some medical experts endorse the drug’s broader use. But for healthy people who would take statins largely as prevention — which would be the case for the new category of Crestor patients — other experts suggest the benefits may not outweigh any side effects.

Among the risks raising new concerns, recently published evidence indicates that statins could raise a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 9 percent.

“It’s a good thing to be skeptical about whether there may be long-term harm from healthy people taking a drug like this,” said Dr. Mark A. Hlatky, a professor of health research and cardiovascular medicine at the Stanford University medical school.

There is also debate over the blood test being used to identify the new statin candidates. Instead of looking for bad cholesterol, the test measures the degree of inflammation in the body, but there is no consensus in the medical community that inflammation is a direct cause of cardiovascular problems.

The powerful cholesterol-lowering drug Crestor is significantly more likely than other statins to cause muscle deterioration that can lead to kidney disease and failure, according to a study in the American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation.

The conclusion is at odds with the most recent recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration, which in March rejected a citizen’s petition to remove Crestor from the market. At the time, the FDA said Crestor, which has been aggressively marketed by AstraZeneca LP, appeared to be no more dangerous than other statins for most people.

Petition to FDA to remove the colesterol-lowering drug rosuvastain (Crestor) from the market

Public Citizen, representing 160,000 consumers nationwide, hereby petitions the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pursuant to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act 21, U.S.C. Section 355(e)(3), and 21 C.F.R. 10.30, to immediately remove from the market rosuvastatin (Crestor-AstraZeneca) before additional cases of life-threatening rhabdomyolysis and kidney failure/kidney damage occur.

We have obtained new information from the FDA and health agencies in Canada and the U.K. concerning serious post-marketing adverse reactions — including seven cases of life-threatening rhabdomyolysis (muscle destruction) and nine cases of kidney failure or kidney damage — in patients mostly using lower doses of this recently-approved cholesterol-lowering drug, rosuvastatin. We have also become aware of decisions by major U.S. health insurers and by the Swedish government not to reimburse for the drug. This information re-emphasizes the basis for which we strongly urged the FDA not to approve it last year and subsequently advised people not to use the drug once it was approved. The urgency of this petition is heightened by the fact that AstraZeneca is currently launching a major direct-to-consumer advertising campaign to promote the drug.