Patients Don’t Trust GPs Over Statins

Concerned that GPs are being paid to hand heart disease statins out, patients who are at risk of heart disease are skeptic on taking these medications. According to new study, there is doubt over doctors’ motivations. GP practices were offered incentives to drive the rate of patients handed the cholesterol-lowering drugs. As a result, there was a decrease in prescribing due to the controversy surrounding the safety and potency of statins. This also diminished the uptake of statins.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs said: “It’s understandable that patients have concerns about the benefits and risks of taking statins given the controversy that has surrounded them in the media, and the diverging views that exist around statins amongst healthcare professionals. There is high-quality, recent, research that demonstrates they are safe and effective drugs when prescribed and monitored appropriately, and that in most cases where adverse side effects are seen, these are reversible by stopping taking statins or switching to an alternative drug.”

British patients suspects that GPs may over-prescribe statins for personal use. They are also perceived to over-prescribing due to the pay-for-performance schemes introduced to any health system called Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF).

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