16 October 2019

Appropriately-Prescribed Statins Are Safe and Effective, Says RCGP

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, has responded to analysis of research into statins published by the BMJ today.
She said: "Evidence has shown that statins are safe drugs and an effective preventative measure against heart conditions when prescribed and used appropriately.

"Nevertheless, the College has previously voiced concern around lowering the threshold for initiating statin therapy, which has significantly increased the number of patients eligible, due to the potential for overdiagnosis.

"Like any medication, statins can have side effects, and some patients simply won't want to take medication long term - but GPs are highly-trained to prescribe and will only do so if they think it is in the best interests of the patient in front of them, and after a full and frank conversation about any associated risks and benefits.

"Patients certainly have the right to question whether statins are the best course of therapy for them – as they do with any prescribed medication – and as with any long-term medication, it's important that regular reviews are undertaken to determine if they are proving beneficial for the patient, based on their current circumstances.

"As with all new research, it is important that the findings are considered as clinical guidelines are updated and developed, in the best interests of our patients."

Further Information
RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 53,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.