Move to sell statins over the counter raises concerns

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 20 May 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1221
  1. Liza Gibson
  1. London

    Doctors' leaders and consumer bodies have raised concerns about the UK government's decision to allow the cholesterol lowering agent, simvastatin, to become available without prescription in pharmacies.

    The reclassification, announced last week by the Department of Health to increase patients' choice and to help reduce coronary heart disease, will be the world's first for a statin. About 1.8 million people in England are prescribed statins, costing the NHS around £700m ($1200m; €1000m) a year. Some £309m is spent on simvastatin alone.

    The over the counter product, to be called Zocor Heart-Pro (10 mg), will be aimed at …

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