To statin or not to statin.

19 May

Here’s an interesting fact. In 2008 the turnover or sales receipts for statins was £25,000,000,000 worldwide. Given that it’s now three years plus since that figure was achieved it will have shot up due to the increasing number of people who are prescribed it rightly or wrongly.

This year most of the better know statins will be out of license and that should bring the price down but it may well be the case that a super statin might come along this which is “proven” to be much more effective. I’ve no evidence of this but the huge profits the drugs companies were enjoying whilst statins were licensed will need to be replaced with something.

The BBC reported a day or so ago that statins are even better than was first thought and as such should be prescribed to as many healthy people as possible. My own doctor is convinced that blood pressure medication and statins will be prescribed for everyone in a few years time.

Whilst prevention is almost certainly better than cure do we really want to be taking drugs because we are told to regardless of any potential risks to our bodies and the highly significant costs involved. NICE the English Drugs regulator are reviewing the evidence, oh that’s nice then.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the cost of statins, as things stand at the moment is around £2,000,000,000 split roughly in half for actual drug costs and then the costs of GPs prescribing them with all the other checks etc. required. As I may have the money spent on statins would build two teaching hospitals every year. Are statins really that good that they are worth that amount of money?

Dr Kendrick, who I have also referenced in previous posts, has found that statins are being prescribed to patients who are terminally ill, or severely demented and are extremely old. Why? To keep them alive? To stop them from having heart attacks or strokes?

The science in all of this is very muddy, much like some other areas of science although in many cases it isn’t science it’s opinion and statistics.

The decision about whether a drug, which is being prescribed for you, is taken or not is down to you, the patient. I don’t know better than doctors but as an adult I can make my own mind up and hope that the doctor will accept my decision. In my case I won’t be taking statins because the evidence I have doesn’t convince its necessary.

Other people may have other views and I’m absolutely delighted that this is the case.

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Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Health, Science


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