Do Cholesterol Drugs Do Any Good?
Entrants: John Carey
General Interest Magazines below 1 million circ.
Place: First Place
Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.
The story showed that cholesterol-lowering drugs are far less effective than the most people think. For people without existing heart disease, more than one hundred (and perhaps as many as 250) people have to take the drugs for years for just one person to benefit. Yet that tiny benefit comes at the cost of a number of side effects.
Judge's comments: When you read John Carey's clear interpretations of the data-and learn about how patients (and doctors) have essentially been duped into taking drugs that have few benefits for the vast majority of them-it's incredibly eye-opening. The sidebars were useful and easy to understand, and there's a lot of concrete, substantial info in this story that patients can use to jump-start conversations with their doctors right now. It's a shame that other mainstream media outlets have been slow to report on this subject in any detail the way Carey has.
See the contest questionnaire in which the reporter writes about how this story was written.