The case for statins: Has it really been made?
Temple, Norman J.
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Statin drugs are a modern success story. They are the medical treatment for coronary disease and the star of the pharmaceutical industry. Worldwide, sales of statins are running at about $19 billion a year and growing quickly.1 This success profits not only the pharmaceutical industry but also all those whose finances and careers are furthered by the research and the sales. But to what extent is it also a success for the general public? To answer this we will look at the major long-term (five to six year) clinical trials of statins. We start with the treatment offered to the participants, then look at the endpoints that were selected, and continue with a look at how the results have been reported. We conclude with a discussion of the costeffectiveness of statins for people at different levels of risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).