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Research Letter | Less Is More

Use of Niacin in the United States and Canada

Cynthia A. Jackevicius, BScPhm, PharmD, MSc1,2,3,4,5; Jack V. Tu, MD, PhD2,3,6; Dennis T. Ko, MD, MSc2,3,6; Noelle de Leon, PharmD1; Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM7,8
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, College of Pharmacy, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California
2Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
3Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto
4Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, California
5University Health Network, Toronto
6Division of Cardiology, Schulich Heart Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto
7Departments of Medicine, Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Epidemiology and Public Health, and Health Policy and Administration, and Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
8Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale–New Haven Hospital, New Haven
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(14):1379-1381. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6489.
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The failure of recent trials of extended-release niacin has focused attention on the use of niacin in practice.1,2 Prior studies have shown that niacin can modify lipid levels but have not consistently shown improved patient outcomes, with a particular absence of evidence in the statin era.3,4 We sought to examine recent trends in niacin use and expenditures in the United States and Canada, which have health systems with different approaches to pharmacy benefits and formularies.

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canada ; niacin

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Figure.
Monthly Population-Adjusted Niacin Prescriptions in the United States and Canada, 2002 to 20095,6

Jan indicates January; Jul, July. Niaspan is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories; Advicor and Simcor by Abbvie Inc.

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