Survey: Heart Patients Are Not Taking Their Drugs After Seeing The ABC's Catalyst Program

Picture: ABC TV. Dr Maryanne Demasi

There’s more fallout from ABC TV’s Catalyst program which questioned the effectiveness and need to take common cholesterol lowering drugs.

A survey of general practitioners shows that many doctors have patients who have stopped taking medication, according to the ABC.

Merck Sharp and Dohme, which makes the anti-cholesterol statins, commissioned research house Cegedim to conduct a survey.

Three out of four doctors from the 150 GPs surveyed had patients who had stopped medication or were considering stopping. Of those, 40% had already stopped and more than half were at high risk.

In a two-program series, Heart of the Matter, Catalyst questioned the link between heart disease and cholesterol, and examined the widespread use of anti-cholesterol drugs.

The program came with the warning: “The views expressed in this episode of Catalyst are not intended as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor regarding your medications.”

The National Heart Foundation reports concerns in the medical community that people could die if they stopped taking medication.

Foundation chief medical adviser Professor James Tatoulis told the ABC: “I think the really disappointing and very serious issue is that incorrect information which, in our view, was brought out by the Catalyst program, can influence people into things which they shouldn’t be doing.”

Read the Business Insider Australia report on the Catalyst Program.

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