Last time I saw my Primary Care Provider I asked if I needed to keep taking my Crestor, a drug to reduce cholesterol. She pulled out the clinical practice guideline for the treatment of blood cholesterol released by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. Every couple of years I ask her the same question. Do I really need this? Does it have long-term side effects I should worry about? I’m 63 years old, when can I stop because I’m too old? With insurance it costs me $300 a year out-of-pocket.
How many clinical practice guidelines are there? I could find no specific count – thousands I’m sure. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)’s National Guideline Clearinghouse lists 1975 guidelines.
Who writes guidelines? What is the evidence to support guidelines? Which guidelines apply to me? How often do guideline writers rewrite them when new evidence comes to light? How long does it take for people at the center to become aware of guidelines and use them? Read More