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Hyderabad, Feb. 2

HAILING the British Government's approval for over-the-counter (OTC) sales of Simvastatin, a natural cholesterol-lowering drug that reduces the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), cardiologist and Chairman of the Hyderabad-based CARE Hospital, Dr B. Soma Raju, said that it was expected to result in greater awareness of the use and benefits of Statins among the CAD patients and medical fraternity.

Addressing newspersons here on Wednesday at a meet organised by USV Ltd, a leading manufacturers of Simvastatin in the domestic market, Dr Raju said statins were not prescribed to several high risk people in our country even though Indians were highly prone to the disease, which if unchecked might assume epidemic proportions soon.

The development that Simvastatin goes OTC in the UK was of importance to the Indian medical fraternity since several deserving patients were yet not on Simvastatin in our country, he said.

Viewing that it might be too premature to advise Simvastatin to become OTC in our country, he said even if the medical fraternity realises the importance of the statin in reducing mortality and preventing CAD in moderate to high risk patients, irrespective of cholesterol levels, the burden of CAD including its economic implications in our country would be greatly reduced.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 3, 2005)
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