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Survey Finds At-Risk Consumers Interested in OTC Statin
Date:12/12/2007

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to data released by the National Consumers League today, Americans with unhealthy cholesterol levels would be more likely to consider taking an over-the-counter (OTC) statin option than a prescription (Rx) product, but the likelihood to use an OTC had decreased since 2004. The findings of the survey are being made public on the eve of a joint meeting of two Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committees. At that meeting, members of the public will weigh in on the possibility of making the current Rx cholesterol-lowering statin MEVACOR (lovastatin) available as an OTC drug. The survey was commissioned by NCL and conducted by Harris Interactive(R) between October 25 and November 5, 2007. A total of 710 adult Americans at known moderate risk for high cholesterol participated.

"For the more than 100 million Americans who have high cholesterol, the challenge of keeping the bad number low and the good number high is a very real one," said Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of NCL, the nation's oldest consumer advocacy group. "In this atmosphere of increasing availability of medications without prescriptions, the introduction of an OTC statin could expand the total number of people getting treated for high cholesterol. Are consumers interested in an OTC statin option? According to our survey, they are."

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. NCL commissioned the survey to explore whether the ease of an OTC cholesterol-lowering drug would be attractive to those with moderately high cholesterol.

Findings: OTC perceived as more convenient, Rx perceived as more trustworthy

Overall, the majority of those surveyed (82 percent) responded that an OTC statin would be preferable to a prescription statin. For those respondents who say they are more like
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SOURCE National Consumers League
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