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Niacin use increases despite little evidence of benefit

KEY POINT

Over a 7-year period from 2002 to 2009, prescription use of niacin increased by nearly 200%. In 2009, nearly 700,000 niacin prescriptions were filled per month at an annual cost of almost $1 billion. Recent clinical trials have failed to show a benefit of niacin on improving meaningful cardiovascular outcomes, in spite of its positive effects on surrogate markers.

SOURCES

Jackevius C et al. Use of niacin in the United States and Canada. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173:1379–81.