Pharma consumption report puts UK near top of anticholesterol list

The consumption of anticholesterol drugs such as statins is highest in Australia and the UK, which top the list of industrialised countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in terms of the proportional number of prescriptions, according to the OECD’s 2013 report on health performance.

The UK is in joint-second place with the Slovak Republic, behind Australia, with anticholesterol drug consumption in 2011 reaching a “defined daily dose” of 130 for every 1,000 people.

“Australia, the United Kingdom and the Slovak Republic had the highest consumption per capita in 2011, with levels that were over 40% higher than the OECD average.”While these cross-country differences may partly reflect differences in the prevalence of cholesterol levels in the population, differences in clinical guidelines for the control of bad cholesterol also play a role.”

OECD report.

Professor Sir Roger Boyle, the UK government’s heart tsar from 2000 to 2011, had concerns reported by The Telegraph: “The question is whether we are effectively targeting the statins accurately. I would like to see a rather more rigorous approach – rather than them being offered to the ‘worried well’ and giving them to people because they are 50, or 55, without a proper risk assessment.

The OECD report, ‘Health at a glance 2013‘, also analysed data on drug use against hypertension, diabetes and depression.

For prescriptions against high blood pressure, Germany and Hungary were at over 500 defined daily doses for every 1,000 people, while the rest of the table charts figures below around the 400 mark.

The UK is near the top of the list for consumption of antidiabetic drugs. In the table of antidepressant prescribing, which puts Iceland a notable distance in the lead of all OECD countries, the UK is in the top ten.


Related news:

Britain becomes statins capital of Europe according to study (The Telegraph).

Doctors defend prescription rate in statins boom (The Times; needs subscription).

Reference links:

Health at a glance 2013: OECD indicators (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report).

List of OECD member nations

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