Researchers from the University Medical Centre Utrecht, Netherlands, used statistical modelling to analyse costs and potential benefits of statins.
They calculated costs per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) for men and women aged 45 to 75 years with a 5 per cent risk of a vascular event.
For such low-risk populations, costs would rise to £107,000 for each QALY gained.
The researchers concluded: 'Statin treatment seemed not to be cost-effective for primary prevention in populations at low risk of vascular disease, despite low costs of generic drug pills. Adherence to statin treatment needs to be improved to enhance the cost-effectiveness of the use of statins for primary prevention.'
Find more articles on statin therapy at the BMJ