Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Background. The increasing awareness of cost issues in health care has led to the increasing use of policy-driven substitution of branded for generic medications, particularly relative to statin treatment for cardiovascular diseases. While there are potential short-term health care savings, the consequences for primary care are under-researched. Our objective was to review data on intensive statin therapy and generic substitution in patients at high cardiovascular risk. Results. Current treatment guidelines for the prevention of cardiovascular disease are consistent in their recommendations regarding statin therapy and treatment targets. Clinical trials demonstrate that to reduce cardiovascular events, a statin is more effective than placebo, intensive statin therapy is more effective than moderate statin therapy in patients with established coronary disease, and in patients receiving intensive statin therapy the lowest risk is associated with the lowest low-density lipoprotein levels. However, in clinical practice, patients at high cardiovascular risk are prone to be undertreated. Observational studies suggest that mandatory statin substitution may increase the gap between achieved and recommended therapeutic targets. Conclusions. Substitution of generic statins may be cost-saving, particularly at the primary prevention level. However, statin substitution policies have not been adequately studied on a population level. Data raise concern that mandated statin substitution may lead to unfavourable treatment choices at the level of the individual high-risk patient.

Original publication

DOI

10.1080/07853890902729786

Type

Journal article

Journal

Annals of Medicine

Publication Date

04/11/2009

Volume

41

Pages

242 - 256