News

NICE sticks to its advice to drop threshold for prescribing statins

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g4694 (Published 18 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4694
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The group responsible for recommending the wider use of statins had faced “completely unjustified attacks on their integrity,” the director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) complained at a press conference in London to launch the final version of the guidance.

Mark Baker said that the group had shown great resilience in producing “important and high quality guidance, of which we’re all proud.” All panel members had declared any relevant interests, and none stood to gain financially from the guidance, he added.

When released in draft form for consultation, the guidance prompted the publication of a letter signed, among others, by Richard Thompson, president of the Royal College of Physicians, and Clare Gerada, former chairwoman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, warning of the risks of medicalising five million healthy people on the basis of drug company trials.1 A majority of the NICE panel members had ties to companies that made statins, the letter claimed, and it called for the guidance to be shelved. …

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