GPs have been told to ignore current NICE lipid modification guidelines on statin prescribing in low-risk people, under a cost-saving policy at one CCG.
NHS Stockport CCG has advised GPs should only prescribe statins to people if they are found to be at a 20% or greater risk of cardiovascular disease – and not at the lower NICE-recommended threshold of 10%-20%.
The CCG has also stipulated that GPs should prescribe simvastatin first-line rather than the NICE-recommended lipid-lowering drug atorvastatin, as part of measures to control spending.
NICE condemned the decision, which it said meant people were being denied the opportunity to lower their risk of a disease that ‘maims and kills one in three’.
The GPC said that the CCG’s decision was ‘strange’ and ‘born out of desperation’.
Full story in Pulse 2 June 2016