- 5 updates
Statins are a "safe, effective, cholesterol-lowering drug" and are proven to lower the risk of heart disease, according to the British Heart Foundation.
Prescribing cholesterol-reducing statins to millions more people will "increase costs to the NHS, not reduce them", a cardiologist said.
Proposals put forward by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which suggests more people could take statins, are "intended to prevent many lives being destroyed", a senior professor from the health body said.
The "medicalisation of millions of healthy individuals" is unjustified and Nice's statin guidance "represents a further embarrassment" for the health body, a group of leading doctors said.
Professor Simon Capewell, professor of clinical epidemiology at the University of Liverpool, said: "Two decades of research has confirmed the obvious: doctors receiving drug industry funding produce recommendations favouring the industry.
"It also represents a further embarrassment for Nice.
"Nice urgently need to develop a better mechanism for controlling these conflicts of interests. The recent statin recommendations are deeply worrying, effectively condemning all middle aged adults to lifelong medications of questionable value."
Plans to advise millions more people to take cholesterol-reducing statins have been criticised by a group of leading doctors.
Around seven million people in the UK, who have a 20% risk of developing a cardiovascular disease within 10 years, are currently offered the drugs.
The NHS have been urged to widen this to cover those with just a 10% risk, draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) shows.
However, a number of prominent clinicians, including the president of the Royal College of Physicians and a former chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, have written a letter to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt expressing their concerns.
They claim the latest guidance is based almost entirely on studies funded by the pharmaceutical industry and said non-industry sponsored studies showed an increased risk of developing diabetes in middle aged women taking statins.
Other side effects include fatigue, psychiatric symptoms and erectile dysfunction, the clinicians warn.