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Cholesterol Drug Damaged Woman, She Says

Jan 17, 2003 | KFOR-TV, OK

A prescription drug was recently pulled from the market, and now doctors say it is killing Oklahomans.

Patients were given the drug Baycol to lower their cholesterol.

Experts now say the drug killed hundreds. Baycol is part of a family of drugs called statins, which includes drugs such as lipitor, zocor and pravachol.

But doctors say there's something very different about Baycol. They say it's poison.

"I can't open a bottle of pills if I have a headache, said Joyce Stark, who took Baycol. I can't take laundry out of the washer and into the dryer. It's changed My life, definitely changed my whole life."

55-year-old Stark is a shadow of the person she was two years ago. Thanks to her cholesterol pills, she said, she can't hold her grandkids. The drug Baycol, she said, ate away at her muscles until she could barely move.

"My legs, my arms, I don't rest at night because of the pain in my arms and my shoulders," she said.

Dr. Wesley Marshall is trying to reach thousands of patients such as Stark, people who took Baycol for help.

"If I had taken the medication I would be very mad about what Bayer hid from the FDA," Marshall said.

Marshall says Bayer, the makers of Baycol, knew the drug would fail and kept it a secret. It cost some their lives.

"This was all about making money for bayer," he said.

"It's a shame that money means that much to people. It really is, Stark said. "They would rather have money and not care about people's health."

Marshall says if you think you're a victim of Baycol you need to start building your muscles back right now. He suggests light weight-lifting to replace what's lost. Right now, there is no pill that can replace lost muscle tissue.

A team of Oklahoma lawyers were certified for a class-action lawsuit last year, but, that decision was appealed. It'll be months before the state supreme court will make a decision.

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