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Home Industry News Nice guidance widens statins net, Pfizer wants greater public awareness

Nice guidance widens statins net, Pfizer wants greater public awareness

15th November 2005

The National Institute for Heath and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has approved the use of statins in treating cardiovascular problems in the UK.

Nice said that the drugs should be given to those who are at risk of developing heart problems and with clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease. It recommended that the drugs should be used to prevent a first attack, but could also be applied to stop a second attack from occurring.

Statins work to inhibit the production of cholesterol in the blood, lessening the risk of heart attack or stroke. They are often combined with other lifestyle measures. The decision will allow more patients to start a therapy of the drugs.

The Nice guidance said: “The decision whether to initiate statin therapy should be made after an informed discussion between the responsible clinician and the individual about the risks.” The drugs carry several possible side effects although the worst, muscle damage, is said to be rare.

Pfizer, who produce a commercial statin, welcomed the news but told the Daily Telegraph that it was unhappy that Nice had not set target cholesterol levels.

“We hope to see a greater drive to raise patient awareness of their target cholesterol levels to enable them to take greater responsibility for managing their conditions,” said Dr Bruce Charlesworth, head of medical affairs at the company.

track© Adfero Ltd

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