Growth in Use of Lipid-Lowering Therapies: Are We Targeting the Right Patients?


Within the context of concerns over growing prescription drug spending, the authors of this article look at the appropriateness of statin use in 1997 (pre-Direct-to-Consumer Advertising guidance) and in 1999 (post-DTCA guidance). The authors reviewed an administrative database of medical and pharmaceutical claims and applied cardiovascular risk criteria to prescribing decisions. Authors found that although the number of people being treated with statins rose considerably from 1997 to 1999, there did not appear to be any shift toward less appropriate treatment.