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Tablets of Lipitor and its generic equivalent, atorvastatin, are among the drugs commonly prescribed to prevent heart attacks and strokes among people at risk. Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

The latest guidelines for cholesterol-lowering drugs emphasize their use to manage patients' risk for cardiovascular disease rather than simply hitting numerical cholesterol targets. Roy Scott/Ikon Images/Corbis hide caption

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Roy Scott/Ikon Images/Corbis

If new guidelines are followed fully, half the medicine chests in America could eventually be stocked with cholesterol-lowering drugs such as atorvastatin, the generic form of Lipitor. Bill Gallery/AP hide caption

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Bill Gallery/AP

Not covered by Obamacare, but still sweet. Cristian Baitg/iStockphoto hide caption

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Cristian Baitg/iStockphoto
Alan Crawford/iStockphoto

Critics Warn Latest Cholesterol Guidelines Invite Overtreatment

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Lipitor, and other cholesterol-fighting drugs like it, will carry new instructions about risks. Paul Sakuma/AP hide caption

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Paul Sakuma/AP