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Should statins proposed mechanism of action affect patient choice?

Posted by plosmedicine on 31 Mar 2009 at 00:13 GMT

Author: Victor Montori
Position: Lead Researcher
Institution: Knowledge and Encounter Research Unit, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Submitted Date: August 21, 2007
Published Date: August 23, 2007
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

Putnoki raises concerns about the true mechanism of action of statins and whether statins could in fact be harmful.

Our work focused on empowering patients with information about what we know statins can do - decrease coronary risk and increase the risk of liver and muscle abnormalities.

This approach is a major step forward since most encounters in which statins are prescribed do not include a conversation in which these drugs are presented as an option to reduce coronary risk.

Despite Mr. Putnoki's concerns, patients were able to make decisions more consistent with their preferences given the information available now. If important new data were to emerge that could change the apparent trade off of benefits and risks, we would have to redesign our decision aid.

We appreciate Mr. Putnoki's attention to our work.

No competing interests declared.