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.”
Royal College of General Practitioners