Doctors will no longer simply tell you your treatment plan for cholesterol-lowering statins, if three Mayo Clinic physicians have their way.
Instead, doctors will share the "potential benefits, harm and burdens" of a treatment and patients will then collaborate with their doctors to make treatment decisions based on "existing research and the values and context of each patient."
The physicians submitted a commentary about treatment standards for statins in this week's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
They suggest the practice of automatically prescribing statins to every healthy person with a 10-year cardiovascular risk of 7.5 or higher should be changed to a system of shared decision-making.
Statins carry risks, such as muscle pain and damage, liver damage, digestive problems, rash, flushing, increased blood sugar, Type 2 diabetes and neurological problems, according to MayoClinic.org.
Fully informing the patient of those complications might alter an individual's interest in taking a statin to decrease risk of heart attack.
"We're creating a much-more sophisticated, patient-centered practice of medicine in which we move the decision-making from the scientist to the patient who is going to experience the consequences of these treatments and the burdens of these interventions," said Mayo endocrinologist Dr. Victor Montori, lead researcher at Mayo's Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit.