With current safety and efficacy data, should statins be made available as nonprescription over-the-counter drugs?
Office of the Provost; Cardiology
Purpose of review: Statins inhibit the enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase in the liver and reduce atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk by enhancing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) clearance from the circulation. In this review, we discuss their efficacy, safety, and real-world utilization to make a case for reclassifying statins as nonprescription over-the-counter drugs to improve access and availability with the overarching goal of increasing statin utilization in patients most likely to benefit from this class of therapy.
Recent findings: Statin efficacy for reducing risk in primary and secondary ASCVD prevention populations as well as their safety and tolerability has been thoroughly investigated in large-scale clinical trials over the past 3 decades. Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence, statins are underutilized even among those at the highest ASCVD risk. We propose a nuanced approach to use statins as nonprescription drugs that leverages a multi-disciplinary clinical model. It integrates lessons learned from experiences outside the USA with a proposed Food and Drug Administration rule change that allows nonprescription drug products with an additional condition for nonprescription use.
Publication ( Name of Journal)
Current cardiology reports
Dixon, D. L.,
Kelly, M. S.,
Shapiro, M. D.,
Sperling, L. S.,
Virani, S. S.
(2023). With current safety and efficacy data, should statins be made available as nonprescription over-the-counter drugs?. Current cardiology reports.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/provost_office/356