Statins (or HMG Co-A reductase inhibitors) are the most effective class of cholesterol-lowering medications, also significantly reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in those patients at high risk.
Between 2004 and 2009, the number of patients diagnosed with high cholesterol has doubled, with statins currently the most prescribed of all drugs, in both quantity and cost, on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in Australia.
In late February 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved safety label changes for this class of medication. The expansion of advice on the risks of statins relating to memory loss and increased risk of type two diabetes was reported widely in the Australian mainstream media, resulting in concern amongst patients.
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