One gets that impression. See the folly below. The NHS is famous for denying helpful drugs to its patients but has now decided to make one class of drugs widely available — a class of drug that appears to do as much harm as good. See here and here. “Kill ‘em or cure ‘em” seems to be their thinking. Note the following crucial sentence in a big review of the evidence on the efficacy of statins: “A second review evaluated only trials in primary prevention and found similar reductions in CHD events and mortality, but a non-significant effect on all cause mortality”. In other words, statins saved you from heart attacks but raised your risk of death from other causes — the two effects cancelling one-another out. THAT is what the NHS now wants to give to millions, regardless of whether they have any current health problems or not. Isn’t government wonderful? Note also the negative comments about statins in the first article I cover in today’s posts on FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC.
MILLIONS of people are to be prescribed cholesterol-busting drugs on the NHS in Britainâ€™s biggest mass medication programme for adults. The governmentâ€™s drugs watchdog is expected this week to recommend the systematic screening of all adults at 40, 50 and 60 for heart disease. Those found to have a 20% chance of developing it over the next 10 years will be prescribed statins, the cholesterol-lowering â€œwonder drugsâ€ that have had dramatic results in preventing heart disease. New research suggests that as many as 14m — half of all adults aged 40 or over — could be eligible for the drugs even though they have no symptoms.
Some doctors say a national screening programme could prevent up to 14,000 deaths a year. Heart disease is Britainâ€™s biggest killer, claiming 105,000 lives a year. Other experts fear, however, that a programme of mass medication would make millions of adults dependent on drugs for the rest of their lives. Dr Peter Brindle, a researcher in cardiovascular disease at Bristol University, said: “This is turning people into patients. They are going to be offered this preventative drug for the rest of their life with all the risks and side effects. There has to be a public debate about whether society feels this should be done.”
Statins are considered to be safe but patients can experience muscle pain or liver problems. Some doctors argue that it is not worth risking these side effects for people who are not suffering symptoms of heart disease.
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