Stephen Colbert does not have an MD. But he apparently has a keen understanding of clinical trials, perhaps because of his DFA – doctor of fine arts.
Colbert—or should we say Dr. Colbert?—reviewed the results of the JUPITER trial last night in the latest installment of “Cheating Death with Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA.” That trial, you may recall, suggested that even people with normal cholesterol levels may benefit from the drug Crestor (rosuvastatin), if their C-reactive protein (CRP) levels (inflammation markers) were high.
Colbert’s analysis cut right to the chase: “This is a great breakthrough in the battle to find things to prescribe to people who don’t need them.”
[Blog post continues after the video.]
“True, the drug costs $100 a month,” he later added. “But that is a small price to pay to not have the heart attack that there’s no way of knowing that you would have had.”
This is the kind of intellectual rigor that is—and I’ve removed my tongue from my cheek only somewhat—too frequently missing from news reporting on medical studies.
So I’d like to suggest that Colbert launch The Colbert Journal of Medicine. We might have some disagreements about the kind of scientists who would be his peers, to make the journal peer-reviewed. (We hear he has a bit of an ego.)
Dr. Colbert would have to disclose his own conflicts of interest. We’d need to know more, for example, about his relationship with Prescott Pharmaceuticals, which sponsors “Cheating Death.” After all, Prescott makes VaxaCrest, which increases cholesterol until “your heart is pumping liquid nacho cheese,” as Colbert informed us last night. But at least he's comfortable disclosing potential side effects of his sponsor's fare—in this case "fallopian tapeworm."
He did have some trouble pronouncing “hormones” at one point. It came out “homones” (Ho-mones). So he may need some help presenting at meetings.
Or maybe we should just put his name forward for U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner.