Experts defend fibrate benefits

AUSTRALIAN experts have rejected concerns expressed by US researchers that a steady rise in the use of fibrates is not matched by evidence of their clinical benefit.

A study shows fibrate prescriptions have more than doubled in the US over the past decade, despite major studies failing to show a reduction in cardiovascular events, the researchers said.

Their examination of the rising cost of fibrate use found prescriptions rose 117% in the US – driven by a steady increase in fenofibrate use – but in the same period rose only 18% in Canada.

However, Professor Anthony Keech, cardiologist and deputy director of the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, who said fenofibrate use was also rising in Australia, expressed disappointment with the US paper, saying it overlooked important findings in the Solvay Pharma-funded FIELD study, on which he was lead investigator. 

These included microvascular benefits of fenofibrate not demonstrated

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