Statins are among the most investigated drugs of all time. There is now a wealth of evidence supporting their use in the primary and secondary prevention arenas. The reduction in event recurrence has since been demonstrated across all levels of risk and in elderly patients. As a result, it is now accepted practice for statins to be prescribed universally in secondary prevention unless contraindicated. The extension of this policy into the primary prevention setting is more problematic, with moral and financial issues arising from the long-term treatment of many young apparently healthy individuals. For these reasons it is necessary to prove not only the financial sustainability of such a strategy but also the long-term safety of statins and the degree of benefit that might be expected.