I see the National Institute for Chemical Excess is at it again, trying to make sure no potential customers are missed in the brave project to get the whole of the U.K. on medication.

They are advising GPs to check back through their patient records for anyone with cholesterol levels that are allegedly ‘too high’ but who is not currently taking statin drugs for that, to see if the doctor cannot shift more of these tablets at public expense by persuading patients that they should take them, whether they want to or not. The suggestion is that they ‘need’ them to protect them from heart attacks, which everyone knows are caused by too much cholesterol. Too much bad cholesterol, that is. Good cholesterol is different, as everyone knows.

Everyone ‘knows’ these things because everyone has been told this many, many times, and although some people take no notice because they are dubious about medical advice, since it seems to keep changing all the time, others are afraid enough of heart attacks to take whatever pills are currently being prescribed, assuming that it is all backed up by hard science.

Well, it rather depends upon who you believe. Personally I believe Dr Malcolm Kendrick, author of The Great Cholesterol Con (John Blake Publishing 2007). So although my cholesterol levels are allegedly ‘too high’, having read that book I’ve decided to remain drug-free and take my chances.

Recently my father’s GP offered him statins because his cholesterol was slightly higher than the regulations demand. He politely declined, having lived his entire life having virtually nothing to do with medical services of any kind. He is eighty this year, and has never had any trouble with his heart, so he took the radical and reckless view that he didn’t need to spend the rest of his life on medication either.

It certainly wouldn’t take them long to check back through his medical records.

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