Unjustified Suspicion of Statins is Costing Lives, says Britain’s Senior Doctor

Unjustified Suspicion of Statins is Costing Lives, says Britain’s Senior Doctor

One of Britain's most senior doctors has warned that unnecessary fears over statins are costing lives. Professor Sir Rory Collins said the fears over the cholesterol-reducing drugs are someway similar to the unjustified doubts over MMR vaccine to cause autism.

Sir Rory, of Oxford University, said uncertainty among doctors over the safety of cholesterol-reducing statins is leading to the unnecessary loss of lives. GPs and the public are unjustifiably suspicious of the drug.

The British Medical Journal is misleading GPs and public by publishing articles based on the views of critics of statins, said the academic, one of the country's leading experts on the drug.

"It is a serious disservice to British and international medicine. I would think the papers on statins are far worse in terms of the harm they have done", he said.

About seven million people in the UK who have at least a 20% risk of a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years are currently being prescribed statins.

Many doctors have raised concerns over dosing healthy people to prevent illness rather than treatment. On the other hand, some doctors doubt that the data from the drug company trials, used only by Collins and his team to base their opinions on statins use.

Two papers being published by the BMJ have been criticized by Collins, saying that they are increasing levels of uncertainty over the benefits of statins. John Abramson, a clinician working at Harvard medical school and Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist in the UK, published the two articles separately.

It was claimed by both the doctors in their articles that statins are of no use to reduce mortality. On the contrary, side effects of statins have caused more harm to patients that good, said the duo. The Oxford academic said they have evidence derived from over 100,000 people to show that statins are very well tolerated.


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