It is now four years since Dr Malcolm Kendrick published his book questioning the wholesale prescribing of statins to asymptomatic and low risk patients. He has been mainly ignored by the mainstream medical establishment and statins are now taken by nearly 7 million people in the UK. I personally have seen patients who have been started on statins in their 70s and 80s, having never had a cardiovascular event. What are their doctors thinking?
There seems to be little acknowledgement that these drugs can have serious and unpleasant side effects and in people who have no history, no symptoms and little risk, starting these drugs on the basis of numbers on a lab report is very poor medicine. Inducing side effects in these people is unforgivable, and persuading these patients that the drugs are giving significant benefit is dishonest and insupportable.
Yet more evidence is now emerging that supports Dr Kendrick’s view. How long is it going to be before the medical profession takes notice?
And as for the polypill, not yet adopted by doctors, this concept should be strangled at birth.