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Research Summary

Cholesterol-lowering drugs, “statins”, are widely used by the public and have significantly fallen in price as patents on a range of key drugs have expired. As such, doctors face an array of decisions when proscribing them for patients and must balance any potential benefits with the impact of side-effects on the patient’s quality of life. This research compares the benefits and harms of 6 commonly prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs with the view to empowering patients to make informed choices about the medicines that they take.


  • To allow users to rank cholesterol-lowering drugs against one another when considering different benefit and harm outcomes so as to facilitate shared decision making amongst patients and physicians (e.g. rank Lipitor vs. Zocor, considering both their benefits in reducing the risk of heart attacks, and their harms in increasing the risk of muscle aches – a good example of how to do this might be the OECD Better life Index)
  • To promote a greater understanding of the benefits and harms of statins amongst the general public and amongst the medical profession.