Basis for prescribing statins must change

Statin prescribing should not be based only on clinical targets specified in the quality framework, a leading cardiovascular GP has claimed.

Instead, focus should be placed on prescribing statins at evidence-based dosages, recommended Kent GP Dr Rubin Minhas, CHD lead for Medway PCT.

Writing in this week’s GP, Mr Minhas said GPs could be wasting resources by working towards cholesterol targets in the NSF for CHD of 5mmol/l for total cholesterol and 3mmol/l for LDL cholesterol. Published evidence for statin use supports specific dosages rather than cholesterol values.

Low cholesterol targets lead to increased sales of the newer, more expensive statins that are considered more potent than generic versions.

Resources aimed at chasing these NSF targets might be better directed at reducing rates of smoking, he suggested, but Dr Minhas said the final decision on treatment must be based on the patient’s informed choice.

Dr Minhas’ article in full, page 28 (26 January issue)

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