New study on effectiveness of statins 'reassuring', says RCGP

Publication date: 31 January 2019

Professor Martin Marshall, Vice Chair of the Royal College of GPs, has responded to a new study in The Lancet into statins therapy.

He said: "It's encouraging to see further research showing that statins are safe and effective drugs that can reduce risk of cardiovascular conditions when prescribed appropriately, as there remains a lot of controversy around their use.

"It's particularly reassuring to see evidence of benefit in patients over the age of 75 - the age group most likely to need cholesterol medication, and who are at risk of heart attacks and strokes.

"Like any medication, statins can have side effects – and some patients won't want to take long-term medication. But GPs are highly-trained to prescribe and will only recommend the drugs if they think they will genuinely help the person sitting in front of them, based on their individual circumstances – and after a frank conversation about the potential risks and benefits. We will also continue to encourage all patients to make lifestyle changes that can improve their long-term health and wellbeing.

"As with any new research, it is now important that this study is taken on board 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

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 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.

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