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the perception of statins and the impact of intense debate on statin use

In 2014 the UK went through what one commentator described as ‘statin wars’ after NICE recommended that this now cheap off patent drug be offered to people with a lower risk of heart disease. The frenzied debate that ensued was marked by claim and counter claim about ‘ over-medicalisation’ and the dangerous side effects of the drugs.

So what impact did this public row have on patient attitudes to statins and to the take up of the drug? Two new studies which asked this question in different ways are published together.

One of the studies led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and being published in the BMJ aimed to quantify how the controversy around statins, covered widely in the mainstream media, may have affected levels of statin use. The study was funded by the British Heart Foundation.

The overarching aim of the research undertaken by Picker Institute Europe, commissioned and funded by the British Heart Foundation, was to explore patients’, GPs’ and cardiologists’ perceptions of statins, and the extent to which these perceptions influence their attitudes and behaviours.

Journalists came to the SMC to meet the authors of the reports and discuss the findings and implications.

 

Speakers will include:

Dr Liam Smeeth, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Dr Krishnan Bhaskaran, Senior Lecturer in Statistical Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation

Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation

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