Statins to be offered to '40% of adult population'

Two in every five adults in England could be offered medicine designed to lower cholesterol, after health officials lowered the threshold for eligible people. Fresh guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said millions more qualified for statins.

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Nice hit out at 'ludicrous' statin controversy

A health chief has hit out at suggestions lowering the threshold for statin use, dubbing accusations of over medicalisation as "ludicrous'.

Professor Mark Baker, director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at Nice, said:

I must remind you that nobody gets onto our guideline groups if they have any significant vested interest, especially a financial interest.

No-one was appointed to our group who had anything to gain from the content of the guidance.

Statins are safe and effective and now they are cheaper it is a good deal for more people to have access to them under the NHS. Doctors have been giving statins to 'well people' since Nice first produced guidance on this in 2006.

We are now recommending the threshold is reduced further. The overwhelming body of evidence supports their use, even in people at low risk of cardiovascular disease.

The effectiveness of these medicines is now well proven and their cost has fallen.

– Professor Mark Baker

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