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Gold, incentives and meh

Statins diabetes hope

Prescribing bills are set to soar after a landmark trial showed 'highly significant' benefits for statins in diabetic patients with normal cholesterol levels.

The collaborative atorvastatin diabetes study has been stopped two years early because positive effects were so strong it would not have been ethical to continue.

But the results – due to be announced in full this week – are likely to further increase demand for statins, after suggesting they could be effective for preventing cardiovascular disease in diabetics with mean LDL-cholesterol levels of only 3.03mmol/l.

Dr Roger Gadsby, a GP in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, and senior lecturer in primary care at the University of Warwick, said the results were expected to confirm the benefit shown in the heart protection study.

He said GPs were underusing statins in diabetes and would now come under pressure to dramatically increase prescribing.

'There will be concerns about practice prescribing budgets if everyone who should be on them gets them.'

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