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Statin dose, efficacy and side-effects

The results from the study on the adverse event reporting system (AERS), mentioned in your recent story on statins, suggest that adverse event reporting rates differ, with higher relative risk rates for rosuvastatin than for other statins (High-potency statins "raise risk of muscle damage").

But AERS cannot be used to calculate the incidence of an adverse event. The study design did not differentiate between the different doses of the available statins.

In contrast to the authors' assertions, AstraZeneca's view is consistent with the generally accepted opinion that there is no evidence for linking statin potency, and corresponding efficacy in reducing LDL-cholesterol, with myalgia and muscle- and tendon-related adverse events.

In contrast, there is a wealth of evidence linking statin dose with myalgia not explored in this study.

Rosuvastatin has been shown to be generally well tolerated and is available at the lowest dose in the UK. AstraZeneca is concerned that the failure of the study authors to acknowledge the low overall absolute risk of muscle and tendon adverse events may lead to unnecessary worry and concern for healthcare professionals and their patients.

AstraZeneca supports fully the efforts of the medical community to advance understanding of dyslipidaemia, but wishes to highlight the limitations of this particular study.

From Mr Rakesh Kantaria - Medical leader, cardiovascular medical affairs, AstraZeneca UK