Patent or not, that is the question

November 16, 2023

Is it really necessary to have a patent and billions of kroner before the media takes an interest in sensationally good results?

The other day in the newspaper Politiken, you could read an article (1) about Ozempic and Wegovy /Semaglutide, including an interview with Professor Jens Søndergaard, who stated that a recent study from the Cleveland Clinic had shown a 20% reduction in serious cardiovascular events after 4 years of treatment, which is such a great medical breakthrough that he had never seen anything like it, and compared it to the discovery of penicillin. -This is really great.

Semaglutide costs DKK 2,400 per month and has side effects in the form of upset stomach and nausea.

The result is quite impressive, even if it is a relative risk reduction rather than an absolute risk reduction. But there are now other scientific studies from this year that have shown far more impressive results.

What if there were a treatment that after 4 years showed a reduction in cardiovascular mortality of over 50% at a price of DKK 369. per month and completely without side effects? … What??
Yes, that is precisely the conclusion of the 10-year follow-up of the 2013 study (2) of Selenium and Coenzyme Q10 in combination.

The study (3) was previously described in the Vitality Council’s newsletter of 23 April 2023. However, that is not what I want to focus on here. It is rather the selection of news in the media that I want to discuss.

What really surprises me is that a risk reduction of 20% for cardiac events draws huge headlines and benevolent admiration whereas an equally valid study, which even shows a reduction in cardiovascular mortality of over 50%, is not even mentioned in the same newspapers -and you can’t deny the quality of this study.

Is it because it’s too good to be true that the media don’t want to bother writing about the scientific article, or does it absolutely have to be an expensive prescription drug with side effects before it’s interesting?

Actually, Professor Urban Alehagen also doubted his own results, which is why he analyzed them again and again from different sides but came to the same result.

And he is not the only one, as numerous previous studies have shown consistent increased survival with selenium and/or Q10.

Senior physician Svend Aage Mortensen at Rigshospitalet published several fine studies (4) of Q10 against heart failure but without their winning any resonance in the very orthodox medical profession.

Substances such as Coenzyme Q10 cannot be patented. Is that where the dog is buried? After all, a patent opens up possibilities for absolutely exorbitant earnings and the resulting marketing, press coverage, etc., just as there are funds for further research, publications, press, etc. -A self-reinforcing wheel that just goes faster and faster.

Substances that cannot be patented easily drown in the media stream because there is no great interest when there is no big money involved. But that is precisely why one should be even more interested in the serious research that takes place with these unpatented products. Professor Alehagen’s studies have clearly shown that an expensive, patented product is not necessary to halve the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease.

It is simply incredible that the selenium and Coenzyme Q10 study has not found a place on the front pages of the media.

Take care of yourself and others.

Claus Hancke MD
Specialist in general medicine


  1. Politiken 13/11-2023
  2. U Alehagen et al. Int J Cardiol 2013;167:1860-1866.
  3. U Alehagen et al. Antioxidants 2023, 12, 759