A GP has welcomed a decision by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to approve a new cholesterol-busting drug.
NICE has given the go-ahead for ezetimibe to be given to patients with high cholesterol levels who have already tried statins.
The UK has one of the worst rates of cardiovascular disease in the world, and 216,000 people died from it in 2004.
Dr John Pittard, a GP from Staines, in Surrey, said: "Primary care treats thousands of high-risk patients to reduce their cholesterol.
"Many patients don't fully respond or tolerate statins - ezetimibe is really useful in these cases and doctors will welcome this sensible advice from NICE."
Heart UK director Michael Livingston said: "We are delighted with the decision made by NICE to recommend ezetimibe in England and Wales.
"The impact of high cholesterol is huge and too many patients are still being put at risk of premature death - over 4,000 people die every week of cardiovascular disease in the UK because of high cholesterol, smoking, physical inactivity and poor diet.
"Prescribing ezetimibe will be of great benefit to those who currently find it very difficult to reach their cholesterol target."