Plans to make statins available over-the-counter should be approached with caution, says RCGP

Publication date: 04 September 2019

Responding to NHS England Chief Executive Simon Steven's speech at NHS Expo today, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

"Extensive medical evidence has shown that statins are usually a safe and effective preventative measure against heart disease, and thousands of patients already benefit from statin therapy.

"But GPs are also mindful of the risks of overdiagnosis and over-treatment – a concern we expressed in response to recent NICE guidelines that lowered the threshold for eligibility of statins – and we also have concerns about making these drugs more easily accessible, without a prescription.

"Statins, like any medication, have associated risks, and GPs will only prescribe them if we think it is in the best interests of an individual patients, based on their individual circumstances – and after a frank conversation about the potential risks and benefits.

"Nevertheless, it is encouraging that NHS England are conducting this review before implementing a new initiative, and the College looks forward to feeding into it. Prevention is important, but it is essential that any NHS intervention to promote it is evidence-based, and in the best interests of patients."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659
press@rcgp.org.uk

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.

The item has been added to your basket.

Continue shopping

Go to basket

This item is out of stock.

Continue shopping

The item is out of stock.

Yes Continue shopping

An error occured adding your item to the basket:

Continue shopping