Lancet review of the efficacy and safety of statin therapy

Professor Sir John Tooke FMedSci, former President of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Chair of the ‘How can we all best use evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines’ oversight group commented on the newly published review.

“This study has added much needed clarity into the heated debate on the safety and efficacy of statins. Most importantly it highlights the relative value of different ways of generating evidence.

"It is essential that patients and the public have access to the best evidence when it comes to making decisions about the management of their health, whether these concern lifestyle changes or the use of medication. Clear, accurate and trustworthy information is vital to empower people to make treatment choices.

"This review provides a clear summary of the evidence to date which will help healthcare professionals and patients have more informed conversations about the benefits and harms of statins.

"Following a request from the Chief Medical Officer, the Academy has been exploring the best ways of generating and communicating evidence about the benefits and harms of medicines, and how to ensure this evidence is trustworthy so that all stakeholders – patients, the public but also healthcare professionals – can use it to inform their decisions about medicines.

"Throughout our evidence gathering for the project we have repeatedly heard calls for communications about scientific evidence to present absolute risk and so I am pleased to see that this study has presented data in this way."

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