Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Statin wars: have we been misled about the evidence? A narrative review
  1. Maryanne Demasi PhD
  1. Global Productions Pty Ltd, Investigative Reporter, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Maryanne Demasi PhD, Sydney, NSW 2047, Australia; maryannedemasi{at}


Statins are the most widely prescribed, cholesterol-lowering drugs in the world. Despite the expiration of their patents, revenue for statins is expected to rise, with total sales on track to reach an estimated US$1 trillion by 2020. A bitter dispute has erupted among doctors over suggestions that statins should be prescribed to millions of healthy people at low risk of heart disease. There are concerns that the benefits have been exaggerated and the risks have been underplayed. Also, the raw data on the efficacy and safety of statins are being kept secret and have not been subjected to scrutiny by other scientists. This lack of transparency has led to an erosion of public confidence. Doctors and patients are being misled about the true benefits and harms of statins, and it is now a matter of urgency that the raw data from the clinical trials are released.

  • statins
  • cholesterol
  • cardiovascular disease
  • CTT collaboration
  • data transparency

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors The author would like to thank Professor Rita Redberg, Dr John Abramson, Dr Fiona Godlee and Dr Aseem Malhotra for reviewing this article.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.