I am concerned with the current drive for switching for several reasons and am writing on a basis of being a predominant simvastatin prescriber.
This afternoon I saw a man on 10mg of atorvastatin, a cholesterol of 3.8 and an MI 20 years ago at the age of 40, currently ‘well’. If I was him I would not want to be switched. That is the argument at a personal level.
The NHS agrees a tariff price, I believe, with manufacturers — why, if atorvastatin is too dear is this not sorted centrally?
However, I am also surprised that the manufacturer does not cut its losses and reduce the price.
Finally, this needs to be considered with the agenda of research costs. I live and work near a huge pharma research base. This needs funding; if we change everything to the cheapest generic eventually the Western research market will move away which might have even greater risks to the NHS. Bigger NHS savings could be made by abandoning the private finance initiative and amending the current computer programme.
Dr John Sharvill