(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) -- Millions of Americans take prescription medicine to lower their cholesterol. Fibrates are a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs that can be prescribed for patients who cannot take the more-familiar statin drugs. They are also commonly added to statin drugs in combination therapy.
Studies show that adding fibrates to statins does not increase the cholesterol-lowering benefits in people with diabetes. Nevertheless, a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that prescriptions for fibrates increased more than 117.1 percent between 2002 and 2009.
Prescriptions for fibrates in Canada remained stable during the same period.
Some experts fear this is a triumph of marketing over medicine, and adds to concerns about a number of cholesterol-lowering drugs and whether they are promoted to patients by doctors and drug companies without proven benefits.
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