What is the clinical trial evidence for the benefits of long-term statin therapy?
Structured monitoring of patients with long-term conditions has become a major component of scheduled care and a GP’s workload. The length of time a patient should remain on a certain medication to prevent a further cardiovascular event is often controversial, and phrasing recommendations to reflect the often absent evidence base is a problem for guideline writers. Recommendations on length of treatment are often informed by the results of randomised trials carried out for a limited period of time rather than reflecting long-term use in a defined patient cohort. This review reflects on the clinical trial evidence for long-term statin treatment in both primary and secondary prevention.