Intended for healthcare professionals

Editorials

Statins and The BMJ

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g5038 (Published 07 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5038

Statins: the debate is a red herring

Its fascinating to see all these experts, and even Nigel Hawkes, getting sucked into the debate about statin side-effects. But they seem to be missing the wider point........................... do we really want to create a society where we're all on pills to prevent this disease and that, when the same diseases are largely products of a self-abusive lifestyle? We know that those who grew up in periods of shortages, for example between and during the wars, have so much less of the disease which statins seek to compensate for but we're not prepared to address these primary causes and effects.

Just as we've sleep-walked into Orwell's world of almost universal state scrutiny of citizens, we're now sleep-walking into Huxley's world of a pill for everything. (Or if not a pill, then enormously expensive weight-loss surgery). Why aren't all the great and the good of Oxford University, the BMJ and NICE debating this issue instead of bickering about statin-related pains?

Competing interests: No competing interests

10 August 2014
Peter J Mahaffey
Surgeon
Pinehill Hospital, Hitchin SG4 9QZ