C-reactive protein: Fiction from the drug industry?

C-reactive protein (CRP) is the liver product of inflammatory responses anywhere in the body. If there's an inflamed left knee, CRP will be increased. If viral bronchitis is making you cough, then CRP will be increased.

The argument put forward by the drug industry is that, because CRP indicates underlying inflammation, very low-grade levels that can be measured in the absence of overt inflammation like the sore knee or bronchitis is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular events. There are now many studies that conclusively demonstrate that, the higher the CRP, the greater the cardiovascular risk.

Naturally, any marker of risk is followed by the inevitable study: Do statin drugs reduce the excess cardiovascular risk of excessive CRP?

And, yes, indeed they do. My statin-crazed colleagues rave about the so-called "pleiotropic," or non-lipid, effects of statins. CRP reduction and the reduction of risk associated with CRP result with statin treatment.

But is life really statin vs. placebo, as most statin trials are constructed? Are there strategies that can outdo statins like Crestor for reduction of CRP?