§ Lord Clement-Jones
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether pharmacy status for simvastatin would be linked to cholesterol testing so that patients at high risk of a first coronary event could receive a higher dose statin, on prescription under the care of a general practitioner. [HL1685]
§ Lord Warner
The Government have consulted publicly on a proposal to make simvastatin 10mg available over the counter in pharmacies, to reduce the risk of a first major coronary event in people who are likely to be at a moderate risk of coronary heart disease. The Committee on Safety of Medicines will advise Ministers on the proposals in the light of the responses to consultation.144WA
The proposal also includes a pharmacy protocol on the questions pharmacists would need to ask to ensure those at a higher risk and who need to be referred to their general practitioner can be identified and those at a lower risk can choose to purchase a statin. Current evidence suggests that, for adults in western societies, it can be beneficial to reduce cholesterol levels whatever the starting point. The intention is that pharmacists will be able to offer cholesterol testing to people who want it.