Poll: Statin use will grow modestly

Poll: statin use will grow modestly
Poll: statin use will grow modestly

A quick poll of 150 US cardiologists and primary care physicians, along with 100 cardiologists in Europe, shows that the new cholesterol guidelines are not going to cause a massive shift in prescribing habits, reports research firm Symphony Health Solutions.

One reason: US doctors said they were already prescribing statins for patients that fall under the new guidelines' “statin benefit groups.” Symphony noted that the new-to-statin patient population group will probably increase statin sales by around 5% in the next year “in stark contrast to ‘the doubling of statin use' that has been discussed.”

Symphony's researchers also expect atorvastatin and Crestor will be major guideline beneficiaries, but that PCSK9s could grow if benefits of the nascent class are even incrementally better than treatments like atorvastatin.

As for the calculator that some say overcalculates the number of patients who could benefit from statins, Symphony's results indicate that most of the polled physicians do not use the 10-year risk score for the majority of patients it is expected to help. Instead, doctors told Symphony that they rely on “clinical judgment and lab tests.” Two-thirds of doctors also told Symphony that they have no intention of ditching lipid ranges, and will continue to use the metric in their practices.