Uh-oh: 2/3 of UK docs defying new statin guidelines
- According to new polling of U.K. physicians, 2/3 of general practitioners in the region are openly defying more aggressive NICE/NHS statin guidelines that were introduced last year.
- The new guidelines, which would result in millions of more people being put on the medications, have proven controversial in the UK, as have similar standards adopted in the U.S.
- Surveyed docs in the UK called the guidelines "simplistic" and said they refused to contribute to the "mass medicalization" of the public.
Statins are a no-brainer for patients who have suffered a heart attack or stroke; but the new guidelines, which promote statin use in anyone who has a 10% chance of getting heart disease within 10 years, have been contested by the medical community. NICE and U.S. agencies argue that the guidelines could prevent tens of thousands of CVD-related deaths per year. For now, many docs remain unconvinced.
Survey respondents for the latest poll had some strong words about the statin targets. "Although it is clear that the benefits of statins outweigh harms in those who have suffered a heart attack and are at high risk, this is in my view is not the case in a healthy population, where it does not reduce the risk of death," said one physician. "I am pleased to see that the majority of GPs are also realizing this and acting upon it."
- The Telegraph Doctors refusing to prescribe statins
- BioPharma Dive The statin stumper: Are new cholesterol guidelines prudent or overzealous?
- BioPharma Dive New statin guidelines: Thoughts from a physician on the front lines