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Statins

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations his Department has received on (a) prescription of statins and (b) the side effects of statins. (310637)

The Department has not received any formal representations about the prescription of statins or the side effects of statins from any organisations or individuals.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department has issued on the prescription of statins to (a) women, (b) men aged 55 and over and (c) patients with a 20 per cent. or lower risk of heart disease. (310640)

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is the independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on the use of medicines, medical equipment, diagnostic tests and clinical and surgical procedures within the national health service.

In January 2006, NICE published the guidance, “Statins for the prevention of cardiovascular events” which relates to the initiation of statin therapy in adults with clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) or in adults considered to be at risk of CVD. In May 2008, NICE published the guideline, “Lipid modification—Cardiovascular risk assessment and the modification of blood lipids for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease”. This guideline covers adults at higher risk of CVD such as smokers and people with high blood pressure.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients have been prescribed statins in each of the last 10 years. (310695)

Information on the number of patients prescribed a medicine is not collected centrally.

The following table shows the number of prescription items for statins, written in the United Kingdom and dispensed in the community, in England, in each of last available 10 years. Statins are defined as atrovastatin, cerivastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, simvastatin and ezetmibe.

Items dispensed (Thousand)

1999

6,989.6

2000

9,423.0

2001

12,600.8

2002

16,663.0

2003

21,635.1

2004

28,110.3

2005

33,771.7

2006

39,800.6

2007

44,576.0

2008

48,717.0

Source: Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) system.