Statin criteria should add absolute risk

INCORPORATING absolute cardiovascular risk assessment into the PBS criteria for prescribing lipid-lowering medications could allow more people to benefit from statins, an expert says.

Responding to an MO poll that showed 61% of GPs believed the current PBS criteria were too strict, Professor Simon ­Stewart, head of preventative cardiology at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, said the PBS needed to take account of the move towards absolute risk reduction. 

“The PBS has embraced this somewhat, but if they went further, and there were more updated guidelines around absolute risk reduction, and they advocated getting people to lower cholesterol targets than before, then I can see the PBS changing accordingly,” he said.

Associate Professor Leon Simons, director of the lipid research department at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said the current criteria were a little complex but represented a good