The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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1284
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Which Statin?

Advertisements for atorvastatin (Lipitor), the market leader facing generic competition, have been in the news recently in the US. Lovastatin, pravastatin and simvastatin are all available generically at a much lower retail price or lower co-pay than atorvastatin.

STATINS — In addition to their effects on cholesterol, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) have other benefits as well: they improve endothelial function, decrease platelet aggregation and reduce inflammation. Statins must be taken indefinitely; if they are stopped, cholesterol levels return to baseline within a few weeks.

CLINICAL OUTCOMES — Each new statin was originally approved by the FDA based on its effectiveness in lowering serum cholesterol concentrations, which could be demonstrated in short-term studies. Subsequently, all except rosuvastatin (the newest) have been shown to decrease cardiovascular events and ... more      

The Medical Letter is a subscriber-funded nonprofit organization that publishes critical appraisals of new prescription drugs and comparative reviews of drugs for common diseases.

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