Graham from Gross Anatomy, agreed with previous assertions that the motive for OTC statins is all about the money. I continue to have mixed feelings about it, but still believe there are too many driving forces (i.e. drug company profits, insurance savings) to prevent it from happening in the US.
In the May 22nd issue of The Lancet, the editorial slams the recent UK OTC decision, and comes to the same conclusion:
In the absence of evidence of the overall mortality benefits of OTC simvastatin, it is difficult to avoid concluding that the motive behind the Government’s decision is saving money. Statins are currently prescribed to about 1Â·8 million people in the UK, costing the NHS Â£700 million a year. With the NHS bill for statins predicted to be more than Â£2 billion a year by 2010, transferring costs to patients might seem timely. But privatising the prevention of heart disease will increase inequalities, with many unable to afford the likely Â£10-15 per month longterm. For the manufacturer, of course, the motive is clear. With simvastatin now off patent, creation of a new market (perhaps 8 million more people in the UK) will please shareholders.