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OTC statins

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Nonprescription sale of 10 mg simvastatin (Merck's Zocor) in the UK may "be leading to an era of less aggressive statin therapy," according to a statistical analysis presented at the Annual Scientific Sessions of the American College of Cardiology in Atlanta, Ga. March 13. OTC sale, which began in 2004, "has had an immediate and substantial impact on statin prescriptions," Kristian Filion, et al., Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, Canada, state. Researchers recorded statin prescriptions in the General Practice Research Database (GPRD) from the beginning of 2001 until the first quarter of 2005. Filion et al. observe that after years of increasing use, the number of statin prescriptions in the UK fell for the first time in the first quarter of 2005. "If we extrapolate from the GPRD population to the UK population of approximately 60 mil., we predict approximately 350,000 fewer statin prescriptions per quarter in the UK due to this policy change," they state. The decline in Rx statins also was not limited to 10 mg statins, but included 20 mg doses as well...

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