Statins to go OTC by June, say ministers

Doult, Bill; Polak, Monika; Baines, Emma
November 2003
GP: General Practitioner;11/17/2003, p1
Statins could become available over the counter within the next six months, Great Britain Department of Health is expected to announce today. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and the Committee on Safety of Medicines are to consult on whether simvastatin, which came off patent earlier this year, should become an OTC drug. Speaking at a one-day conference on cardiovascular risk factor management last week, national director for heart disease Dr. Roger Boyle told delegates, "We have to find shortcuts, otherwise general practitioner (GP) will be prescribing 66 million scrips a year for statins by 2010." He later confirmed to GP that an application for OTC simvastatin was being considered and likely to progress very quickly. Dr. Boyle also indicated that the market price was likely to be in the affordable range of medications that people already buy.


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