“Statins for all” argues US doctor
11th April 2012
          Dr. Benjamin Z Galper (Columbia University, New York) recently delivered a speech at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 2012 Scientific Sessions, whereby he explained in depth the results of an analysis of five strategies for identifying and treating coronary disease risk factors in men aged 35 to 80, and women aged 45 to 80. Galper argued that people can be treated regardless of their low-density-lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol levels, with high-dose statins and that this has shown to be more economically-minded than any of the more recognised coronary disease risk-stratification strategies. One of the five strategies that were considered was ‘treating all’. This would involve prescribing the entire population high-dose statins and low-dose aspirin regardless of the Framingham risk score (FRS) or baseline LDL level. Statistical analysis spanning 30 years were looked at.  Galper and his colleagues analysed the costs of testing and statins and the predicted total of patients deemed moderate or high risk shown in the trials of the screening strategies. The study took into account the risk of cancer attributed to the radiation from imaging but did not account for the potential raised risk of diabetes with statins. Galper commented on this saying, “it’s still not clear how clinically relevant that might be." Those particular patients with a Framingham risk >10% were believed to be on low-dose aspirin for each strategy, except ‘treat all’. Galper commented, "Our simulation suggests that treating all men and women with high-dose generic atorvastatin and all men with low-dose aspirin appears to be the most effective approach for the primary prevention of coronary disease”. Atorvastatin is marketed by Pfizer under the name ‘Lipitor’ and works by reducing the level of "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) and triglycerides in the blood, while increasing levels of ‘good’ cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL). The medication can be taken by adults and any children over 10 years old. It is advantageous in many ways as it helps to treat high cholesterol, lowers the risk of a heart attack or stroke and beneficial for people who have other heart complications associated with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, or other risk factors. Dr. Galper went on to add that his studies put forth a strong case for statins such as Atorvastatin and Rosuvastatin to be widely available and sold over the counter. "The actual rates of true adverse events [with statins], even looking at millions of people treated, are relatively low. So it does mean that perhaps we should be making them available at the drugstore." Rosuvastatin is also known as ‘Crestor’, and like Lipitor, it belongs to a group of cholesterol-lowering medicines called statins. Along with diet, Crestor lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL-C), increases ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL-C), and also slows the progression of atherosclerosis in adults with high cholesterol, as part of a treatment plan to lower cholesterol to goal. If you are determined to improve your cholesterol levels, Medical Specialists Pharmacy are here to help you. Our great prices start from as little as £33.32 per pack for Crestor and just £30.50 for Lipitor.