[Broader indication for treatment with statins; the 'heart protection study']
SourceNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 146, 41, (2002), pp. 1921-1923
Article / Letter to editor
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Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
SubjectLipoproteins and atherosclerose; Lipoproteïnen en atherosclerose
The introduction of statins has been a breakthrough in the treatment of hypercholesterolaemia. Statins are safe and effective in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease in the general population. The 'Heart protection study' has provided evidence for the benefit of statin treatment in much broader populations than is presently indicated in the Dutch national guidelines, i.e. also in high-risk persons with diabetes mellitus, and irrespective of age or cholesterol level. The use and cost of statins, which have been referred to as 'lifestyle-drugs' in the lay press, have risen enormously. Recently, the Dutch College of Healthcare Insurers issued a report in which recommendations concerning the reimbursement of the costs for cholesterol-lowering drugs are based on 'generally accepted insights into the appropriate use of these drugs'. Lifestyle and/or age are not exclusion criteria for treatment with statins. The expiration of patents of some statins and modifications to the reimbursement system in 2003 could lead to cost reductions.
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