Information for GPs
STAREE is a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled primary prevention trial designed to assess whether daily active treatment of 40 mg atorvastatin will enhance disability free survival (death, dementia and disability) and prevent major cardiovascular outcomes in healthy participants aged 70 years and over.
Why be a GP Co-Investigator in the STAREE study?
- This trial of vital interest to general practitioners and their patients, will address an important question in regards to statin use in those aged 70 years and over.
- STAREE examines the nett effects (risks and benefits) of statin therapy in elderly individuals free of established vascular disease and diabetes.
- Largest single project grant yet awarded by NHMRC.
- The work required for the study is conducted by the STAREE research staff.
- Administrative reimbursement of $100/ randomised patient made to your practice.
- In conjunction with STAREE, a RACGP CPD program will be offered over the course of the next triennium.
- The trial is coordinated by Monash University.
- The researchers undertaking STAREE have previously conducted research in general practice, publishing widely (acknowledging all co-investigators) including:
The Reduction of Atherothrombosis for Continued Health (REACH) Registry, Australian National Blood Pressure Study (ANBP2) and Aspirins in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE).
This project is being carried out in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) produced by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. This statement was developed to protect the interests of trial participants who agree to human research studies.
The ethical aspects of this research project have been approved by the following human research ethics committees:
- Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC)
- RACGP National Research and Evaluation Committee
- Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee
- University of Tasmania Human Research Ethics Committee
- University of Newcastle Human Research Ethics Committee
How to get involved
Are you interested in becoming a GP co-investigator?
We’re recruiting in Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and New South Wales.
Please contact us on 1800 770 664 to speak to a STAREE staff member or email: email@example.com.
CPD program for GPs
Medical practitioners have the opportunity to use their participation in the STAREE clinical trial to gain RACGP CPD program points over the course of the following triennium. The current triennium ends 2019.
GP co-investigators who register for CPD Category 2 points are awarded 30 points for study related activities that equate to a maximum of 15 hours of self-directed involvement which could include baseline screening of potential participants.
The STAREE clinical trial can also be used as a self-directed Category 1 activity, however the co-investigator must submit an online application form at racgp.org.au/education/professional-development/qi-cpd/self-directed-learning.
The form will require you to list all your supporting activities of the STAREE clinical trial including participation in reinforcing activities such as further research or development of the trial.
If you have any enquiries or need further information please contact the RACGP on 1800 331 626 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Misinformation about STAREE
In August 2017, incorrect claims about the STAREE trial were made via national radio and social media. A pharmacist and master herbalist, made these claims on a nationally syndicated guest spot on Macquarie Radio, on the website i2p.com.au and on his own social media pages.
They incorrectly claimed that STAREE is funded by pharmaceutical companies and is a ‘sneaky’ move by ‘big pharma’ which targets vulnerable Australians. He encouraged prospective participants to ‘rip up’ their patient information and consent forms.
STAREE receives funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council. We are proud of our independence from pharmaceutical funding. We believe this builds trust with the community and reduces researcher biases.
STAREE and its associated participant communications have been reviewed by an ethics committee for transparency, clarity and accuracy.
The risks and benefits of statins in the healthy elderly have never been addressed in a large, independent population based trial. The trial fills a gap in the literature that the NHMRC has deemed of value to society.
The claims that STAREE is taking advantage of elderly Australians who are likely to feel pressured into participating are unfounded. The claims appear to universally equate ‘elderly’ with ‘vulnerable’. STAREE participants can only join the trial with the approval of their GP and following a mandatory health check. This ensures that healthy people, capable of making free and informed consent decisions join the study.
Many older Australians are physically healthy, mentally alert and maintain their capacity to make sound decisions. The decision to contribute to medical research often provides them with personal pride and a sense of purpose.
False claims such as these needlessly undermine the public’s trust in medical research. Without that trust, medical research in this country grinds to a halt.
If you have a patient participating in STAREE who has expressed these or similar concerns to you, we ask that you encourage them to speak directly to study staff. We have patient-focused resources available on our website.