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HomeNews UpdateThe statins debate continues

The statins debate continues

A group of doctors in the UK is calling for a rethink on an [b]NHS[/b] proposal that people at low risk of heart disease should be prescribed statins. [s]The Guardian[/s] reports that Sir Richard Thompson, president of the [b]Royal College of Physicians[/b], and Clare Gerada, a past chair of the [b]Royal College of GPs[/b], are two of the eight signatories of a letter to the [b]National Institute for Health Care Excellence (Nice)[/b] and [b]Health Secretary[/b], Jeremy Hunt. The Nice guidelines, which are still in draft form, propose that anyone with a 10% or greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years should be eligible for treatment with the cholesterol-busting drugs. The doctors point out that all the trial data comes from pharmaceutical company trials, which have not been put in the public domain. ‘The overdependence on industry data raises concerns about possible biases. Extensive evidence shows that industry-funded trials systematically produce more favourable outcomes than non-industry sponsored ones,’ they write.

A spokesperson for [b]Nice[/b] said, however: ‘The conflicts of interest declared by committee members involved in producing this guideline have been managed appropriately. They have not influenced in any way the draft recommendations.’ And [s]The Daily Telegraph[/s] reports that Professor Mark Baker, director of the centre for clinical practice at Nice, said: ‘The independent committee of experts found that if a patient and their doctor measure the risk and decide statins are the right choice, the evidence clearly shows there is no credible argument against their safety and clinical effectiveness.’

[link url=http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/10/statins-low-risk-heart-disease-rethink-doctors-nice]Full report in The Guardian[/link]
[link url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10890871/New-NHS-statins-guidance-risks-harming-patients.html]Full report in The Daily Telegraph[/link]

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