• consulted on its draft proposals

    'Extremely painful'


    "I was prescribed Simvastatin about nine years ago following heart problems," says John Cakebread, from Kent.


    "I stopped taking the medication six years later after researching the subject on the internet and finding out about side effects.


    "I have now been left with peripheral neuropathy in the feet.


    "This is extremely painful.


    "My GP refuses to acknowledge this condition and that it could be caused by statins.


    "He still wants me to take this medication, but I have refused."



    Mike Knapton, of the British Heart Foundation, said NICE was right to want to extend the use of statins.


    "Evidence shows that statins are a safe, effective, cholesterol-lowering drug and proven to lower the risk of heart disease."


    He added that, if anything, NICE should go further by looking at the lifetime risk rather than 10-year timeframe being proposed.


    NICE has consulted on its draft proposals and is expected to publish final guidance at the end of July.


    Prof Mark Baker, from NICE, said as well as the consultation the recommendations are being peer-reviewed.


    He also pointed out that the guidance did not say patients had to go on these drugs - as GPs and patients can also discuss lifestyle changes to reduce risk - but just gave them the option of using them.


    "This guidance does not medicalise millions of healthy people. On the contrary, it will help prevent many from becoming ill and dying prematurely," he added.

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