Big Pharma’s back in the fish oil game

Not so long ago mainstream medicine dismissed the value of fish oil supplements. Oh sure, they admitted that the omega-3s in fatty fish are good for you. But that’s where they drew the line. Fish oil supplements were purely unnecessary hokum… a waste of your money.

But when they figured out a way to take natural “un-patentable” fish oil and slap a Big Pharma price tag on it, their tune changed really fast. Suddenly Big Pharma giant’s GlaxoSmithKline and Amarin were climbing up on the alternative medicine bandwagon to join us in singing the praises of fish oil.

But there was a catch, of course.

They wanted you to get your doc to write a prescription for it. Yes, a prescription for fish oil. And they wanted you to pay prescription-drug prices for the privilege.

I’m happy to report they failed miserably in their efforts to dupe the American public into getting prescriptions written for a drug version of the fish oil that they could simply pick up at their local health foods store for a fraction of the price. Neither Lovaza nor Vascepa quite lived up to their maker’s expectations.

But Big Pharma’s not done with this fish tale yet. Prepare yourself for a renewed flurry of fish oil marketing. It turns out AstraZeneca has decided to cast their line into those oily waters too, with their new fish oil drug Epanova. Their selling points are that it can be taken once a day, and doesn’t have to be taken with food.

Hmm, sounds a lot like run-of-the-mill fish oil to me. I think I’ll buy my non-drug version online, thank you very much.