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Six professors back NICE guidance on extending use of statins

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 01 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4380
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The so called statins war triggered by two papers in The BMJ1 2 and new guidance from the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommending wider use of the drugs shows no signs yet of a ceasefire.

At a press briefing in London organised by the Science Media Centre, six leading professors of cardiology and epidemiology stated their conviction that the evidence from trials amply justified their confidence that the benefits of statins outweighed any risks. The authors of the two papers in The BMJ had been wrong, they said, and NICE had been right to suggest that statins should be offered to patients who didn’t have a high risk of cardiovascular events.

The Oxford University academic Rory Collins, head of the CTT (cholesterol treatment triallists) group, said that the authors of the two papers in The BMJ had withdrawn their claim that 18-20% of statin users experienced side effects. But they had not withdrawn a claim that 5% of users have myopathy. “Actually it’s 100 times less,” he said. He had earlier called for a full retraction of the papers and criticised The BMJ’s …

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