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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

MeReC Extra covers Statins

The National Prescribing Centre has published a MeReC Extra covering recent developments in cardiovascular evidence around statin prescribing.

The first part of the publication covers the recent NICE Guidance on statins that has been covered already. Based upon the clinical evidence and costs of acquisition it is suggested that a reasonable first choice would be simvastatin 20mg or 40mg.

The publication also covers the recently published IDEAL Study1. This study has been covered on this site. The MeReC discusses in detail the design and findings of the study concluding that aggressive lipid lowering should be considered in context of other interventions to reduce cardiovascular risks (for example smoking cessation, blood pressure control, antiplatelets, diet and exercise). The conclusion is that simvastatin 20mg or 40mg is an appropriate first choice for patients with cardiovascular disease.

Action: Clinicians involved in the treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease would benefit from reading this concise summary of the latest evidence and guidance.


  1. Pedersen TR, Faergeman O, Kastelein JJP, et al. High-dose atorvastatin vs usual-dose simvastatin for secondary prevention after myocardial infarction. JAMA2005:294:2437-45

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