The Plavix Scam 12. April 2007 William Davis (3) Periodically, I'll see a flurry of TV ads for Plavix. It comes with a polished computer-animated cartoon that shows how platelets clump and form a blood clot, causing heart attack.Imagine there's a pile of oil-soaked rags in a corner of your garage. I come by and tell you to get a good fire extinguisher to keep next to the rag pile in case they spontaneously ignite. Does that make sense to you? Wouldn't it be better to get rid of the oily rags and forget about the fire extinguisher? Plavix is the fire extinguisher. The oil rags are your coronary plaque. The solution is to gain control over plaque behavior. Unfortunately, the TV ads (intentionally, I suspect) give the impression that blood clots just form out of the blue for no reason. Of course that's not true. It requires active, growing, inflamed atheroslcerotic plaque that ruptures, uncovering the "angry" and platelet-adhering material underneath the thin covering or endothelial lining. Urging everybody to take Plavix is absurd. The TV ads urge many people who have no business taking the drug to take it. There are, without a doubt, groups of people who are better off taking Plavix and aspirin: people who are in the midst of heart attack, people who have unstable plaque, people with recent stents or bypass. Perhaps people at high risk for plaque rupture, e.g., extensive coronary plaque that has continued to grow. These tactics are consistent with the experiences I've had with the sales representatives from the company (when I used to actually talk to sales reps; my office is now barred from them). The reps very aggressively would urge me to consider having everyone take Plavix. No kidding. For us, i.e., for people who just have a heart scan score but interested in engaging in a powerful program of prevention and reversal, Plavix rarely provides any advantage. The answer is, just like our oily rag analogy, control the plaque, not put out the fire.