Reading yet another article about big pharma’s aggressive tactics to get as much of the population as possible addicted to “lifestyle” drugs got me thinking about Lipitor, the world’s biggest-selling drug ($13.6 billion in 2006 according to IMS Health).
The first statin approved by the FDA to get the public convinced that cholesterol is the culprit causing heart disease was Merck’s (MRK) Mevacor. Looking at the chart for the date of approval, shows the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Mars in Virgo. This sign relates to medical issues as well as number-crunching. It was a genius marketing concept to get the public to focus on their cholesterol number. As statins grew in popularity, one number (total cholesterol) became a detailed Virgo analysis of several numbers to keep track of : “good” (HDL), “bad” (LDL), and fats (triglycerides). Mercury’s challenge to Saturn represents how an acceptable cholesterol level has become lower over the years. Last week when Saturn aligned with Mevacor’s Sun (a limiting influence), the FDA rejected MRK’s request to sell Mevacor OTC. Saturn will continue to negatively influence several planets in the Mevacor chart through 2008 and 2009.
Interestingly, the Sun squares Saturn in both the Mevacor and Lipitor charts. This reflects how authority figures (Saturn) such as doctors, medical groups, and the government have aggressively pushed more and more people to take statins for heart (Sun) disease prevention.
It is the alignment of Jupiter (big) with Neptune (drugs) in the Lipitor chart that makes it the blockbuster seller it is. Lipitor’s Neptune aligns with the USA chart’s Pluto reflecting its support by powerful people in our government. Statins can help bring down cholesterol numbers, but cholesterol is only one of many potential risk factors. People have been so brainwashed by the marketing hype that they’re blind to the fact that half the people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol.* Lipitor’s website declares “heart disease is the #1 health issue in the U.S.” If statins are the solution big pharma claims, then why is this so?
Pfizer’s (PFE) patent on Lipitor expires in March 2010. Both the Lipitor and PFE charts are negatively aspected from 2008 to that time. It looks like PFE’s Lipitor sales will start showing a decline as early as February. It doesn’t appear that PFE will have a blockbuster replacement for Lipitor.
Wall Street Journal: “Pfizer Is Sued Over Lipitor Marketing”
* Wall Street Journal
Lipitor Official Site
Related Post in the Stocks section under DIRECTORY (scroll to bottom): “Chow Down at ASCO” (5/30/07)
Mevacor approved by FDA: September 1, 1987
Lipitor approved by FDA: December 18, 1996
PFE First Trade Date: June 22, 1942