Facts and Ideas from Anywhere (Simvastatin Now Available over the Counter in Uk) (Stations in Children) (Tea Drinking and Hypertension) (Editorial)

Facts and Ideas from Anywhere (Simvastatin Now Available over the Counter in Uk) (Stations in Children) (Tea Drinking and Hypertension) (Editorial)

OVER-THE-COUNTER ZOCOR The 10-mg dose of simvastatin (Zocor) recently became available to the public in the United Kingdom (UK) without a prescription (1). The UK government hopes that the easy availability of a low-cost statin (expected to cost $1 per day) will increase the drug’s use and reduce cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in that nation. The UK is the first nation to approve an over-the-counter statin. I have been on an advisory board of Johnson & Johnson/Merck in the USA for 5 years; the board’s purpose is to provide evidence to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that lovastatin (Mevacor) 20 mg should be available in the USA without a prescription. Hopefully, one or more statins will be approved for over-the-counter use in the USA before the end of 2004. It is estimated that 14 million Americans are presently taking a statin drug. If the National Cholesterol Education Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines were followed, at least 35 million Americans should be taking a statin drug. Based on the revised guidelines in July 2004, that number probably will reach 50 million, and if we really want to have a significant impact on our cardiovascular health, I think 100 million Americans should take a statin drug. If Mevacor is approved for over-the-counter use in the USA, it will be the first drug approved in this manner for chronic use, not for an acute condition.

Facts and Ideas from Anywhere (Simvastatin Now Available over the Counter in Uk) (Stations in Children) (Tea Drinking and Hypertension) (Editorial)



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