July 30, 2015 – Cost Effective Statins


Anchor lead:  What’s the payoff when it comes to statin use? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Does the use of statin medications to control cholesterol really pay off in terms of healthcare dollars saved?  That was the question addressed recently by a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  Roger Blumenthal, a preventive cardiology expert at Johns Hopkins, interprets the findings.

Blumenthal: They concluded that if you use a generic statin, the potential long term benefits of decreasing heart attacks and strokes seemed to be very cost effective. With the new guidelines saying if someone had a 7.5% risk of heart attack or stroke or higher, then it seemed cost effective.  What they really didn’t focus in on though was one way to make it even more cost effective is quite a number of these people who were eligible for cholesterol lowering therapy actually had no or minimal coronary calcification.   :31

Blumenthal says if coronary calcium was assessed the people who would be recommended to take a statin would likely be fewer.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.