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Top doctors criticise plans to advise millions to take statins

A group of doctors have criticised plans to advise millions more people to take cholesterol-reducing statins. The drugs are offered to around seven million people in the UK who have a 20% risk of developing cardiovascular disease within 10 years.

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Cardiologist: Statins plan 'will increase cost to NHS'

Prescribing cholesterol-reducing statins to millions more people will "increase costs to the NHS, not reduce them", a cardiologist said.

Although there is good evidence that the benefits of statins outweigh the potential harms in those with established heart disease, this is clearly not the case for healthy people.

For example a doctor wouldn't give chemotherapy to a patient who didn't have cancer or prescribe insulin to someone without diabetes.

When you add up doctors' appointments, unnecessary suffering for those who experience side effects that interfere with the quality of life, the illusion of protection of taking a drug that won't reduce the risk of death in healthy people - and the increasing burden of chronic disease which is predominantly lifestyle-related - prescribing statins to millions of healthy people would increase costs to the NHS, not reduce it.

– Dr Aseem Malhotra, London Cardiologist

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