The Free FamilyWize Prescription Discount Card makes life-saving medications more affordable – including statins. When it comes to prescription medications, there are few drugs as necessary to people of all ages as statins, a class of lipid-lowering medications, created with the intention of lowering cholesterol and increasing heart health.
Throughout the 20th century, the field of medical science noted an exponential increase in the number of people whose cause of death was from some form of cardiovascular disease (CVD). By the 1960s, drug companies, doctors, and researchers across the globe were looking for a way to determine who was at risk for CVD and how to treat it or prevent it.
Today, the medical world is aware of the link between high cholesterol and heart disease, but this wasn’t always the case. In 1971, Akira Endo, a biochemist from Japan, began searching for a drug that could lower cholesterol. Endo identified mevastatin and performed tests over the next several years, leading to interest from pharmaceutical giant Merck, despite not yet knowing the major benefits of lowering cholesterol.
Mevastatin was never approved for human trials, but the company developed other statins including Zocor and Mevacor. As late as the 1980s, cardiologists remained largely unconvinced that reducing cholesterol could have any significant impact on reducing CVD. It wasn’t until 1994, when Merck sponsored a massive study involving nearly 4,500 patients that the medical world was convinced. The study concluded that those who used statins saw a 35% decrease in cholesterol and were 42% less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack.
Just one year after the study was published, Merck reported $1 billion in sales on their cholesterol-lowering drugs. Akira Endo received the Japan Prize in 2006 for his research and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Now, more than 20 years after the landmark study was published, statins are among the most necessary medications in the world for the part they play in keeping hearts healthy. Research into the efficacy of statins continues today, as researchers test their effect on lung cancer, cataracts, hypertension, and other ailments.
The Free FamilyWize Prescription Discount Card has helped more than ten million people save on their prescriptions, including statins. Are you still paying full price? Get your card (or app) and start saving today.