Why do people not take life-saving medications?

The case of statins

Salim Yusuf

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31532-X

Several clinical trials have shown that statins reduce myocardial infarction, strokes, revascularisation procedures, and deaths from cardiovascular causes with only a small excess in muscle pain or weakness. On the basis of a retrospective analysis of a database, Zhang and colleagues reported that about 20% of individuals taking a statin stopped because of suspected side-effects. Of these, 35% restarted statin treatment and more than 90% tolerated statins, 3% indicating that the reasons for stopping medications were unrelated to statins in most cases.