New in the Hastings Center Report, November-December 2020

December 16, 2020

Prescription Requirements and Patient Autonomy: Considering an Over-the-Counter Default
Madison Kilbride, Steven Joffe, and Holly Fernandez Lynch

When new drugs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the default assumption is that they will be available by prescription only, safe for use exclusively under clinical supervision. The paternalism underlying this default must be interrogated in order to ensure appropriate respect for patient autonomy. Upon closer inspection, prescription requirements are justified when nonprescription status would risk harm to third parties and when a large segment of the population would struggle to exercise their autonomy in using a drug safely and effectively on their own. Although these justifications can support prescription status for many drugs, this article proposes that reversing the FDA's current default to instead begin with a presumption in favor of over?the?counter status is the best way to avoid interference with valid claims of patient autonomy. Under this approach, a range of drug products, including oral contraceptives, statins, and HIV?prevention drugs, could be considered for an OTC switch. The authors are at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Also in this issue:

The Social Risks of Science
Jonathan Herington, Scott Tanona

Another Voice: Health Research and Social Justice Philosophy
Sridhar Venkatapuram

Case Study: A Small-Town Heart
Tim Lahey, Jennifer L. Herbst, Marielle S. Gross, Brandi Braud Scully

Perspective: OK, Boomer, MD: The Rights of Aging Physicians and the Health of Our Communities
Tia Powell
The table of contents of the November-December 2020 Hastings Center Report is available here: Hastings Center Report: vol. 50, no. 6 (

For more information, contact
Susan Gilbert
Director of Communications
The Hastings Center
845-424-4040 x244

The Hastings Center

Related Statins Articles from Brightsurf:

Being in treatment with statins reduces COVID-19 mortality by 22% to 25%
A research by the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) and Pere Virgili Institut (IISPV) led by LluĂ­s Masana has found that people who are being treated with statins have a 22% to 25% lower risk of dying from COVID-19.

Twitter data research reveals more about what patients think about statins
More than one in seven people taking statins -- prescribed to lower cholesterol levels -- believed that meant they could still eat unhealthy foods, a new study shows.

Statins starve cancer cells to death
More than 35 million Americans take statin drugs daily to lower their blood cholesterol levels.

Statins linked to higher diabetes risk
Individuals who take cholesterol-lowering statins may be at higher risk for developing high blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and eventually type 2 diabetes, according to an analysis published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Statins could protect against motor neurone disease
High cholesterol has been found to be a possible risk factor for the development of motor neurone disease (MND), according to a large study of genetic data led in the UK by Queen Mary University of London, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health in the USA.

Statins are more effective for those who follow the Mediterranean diet
For those who have already had a heart attack or a stroke, the combination of statins and Mediterranean Diet appears to be the most effective choice to reduce the risk of mortality, especially from cardiovascular causes.

Statins have low risk of side effects
Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are associated with a low risk of side effects.

Statins overprescribed for primary prevention
Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, or statins, as a preventive measure can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Many older adults do not take prescribed statins properly
In a British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study of older adults prescribed statins, first-year nonadherence and discontinuation rates were high.

Statins show little promise for conditions other than heart disease
Medicines commonly prescribed to reduce people's risk of heart attack may have limited use for treating other diseases, research suggests.

Read More: Statins News and Statins Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to