November 26, 2018 – New Marine Oil
Anchor lead: Can an industry conducted trial on a purified fish oil product be trusted? Elizabeth Tracey reports
Vascepa is the name of a prescription fish oil product its makers touted in a press release, with full disclosure of trial results at the recent American Heart Association meeting. Michael Blaha, a preventive cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, explains what’s known.
Blaha: The results were astounding, showing a 25% reduction in cardiovascular events, and even a cardiovascular mortality benefit. However there’s been lots of controversy since the publication/presentation of the results, because the placebo in this study was mineral oil, and it appears that mineral oil led to reduced absorption of statins which are known to be beneficial, which may have muddied the waters in terms of how beneficial the drug was compared to placebo. :26
Blaha says he thinks many cardiologists will be sufficiently encouraged by the results of the trial to prescribe Vascepa in their patients, but says the FDA is slated to examine labeling for the drug soon, which should provide a more balanced perspective. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.