British Cardiovascular Society response to open letter concerning NICE draft guidance on statins


The British Cardiovascular Society would like to highlight that the letter sent to NICE regarding their draft lipid guidance, by a number of healthcare professionals, including the President of the Royal College of Physicians of London, does not represent the views of the cardiovascular healthcare professionals in the UK.

It is essential for patients with known cardiovascular disease, where there is firmly established evidence for the benefits of medication, including statin therapy, to understand the importance of continuing their medication. In addition, those patients who may be at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease over their lifetime should consult with their healthcare professional. The Joint British Societies consensus recommendations (JBS3) recently published in Heart highlight the importance of total cardiovascular risk, not just cholesterol, over the lifetime of an individual and the benefits from early lifestyle interventions with diet, exercise, and smoking cessation. It also emphasises the importance of additional drug therapy where necessary including statins, based on the estimated risk and their benefits from intervention to the individual rather than an arbitrary threshold for drug treatment of a single risk factor, as suggested in the draft NICE guidance currently under review.


Iain A Simpson MD

Consultant Cardiologist and President, British Cardiovascular Society