With all of these risks, the drugs had better be effective, right? Well, even this is questionable. At least, it depends on how you look at it. Most cholesterol-lowering drugs can effectively lower your cholesterol numbers , but are they actually making you any healthier, and do they help prevent heart disease? Have you ever heard of the statistic known as NNT, or number needed to treat ? I didn't think so. In fact, most doctors haven't either. And herein lies the problem. NNT answers the question: How many people have to take a particular drug to avoid one incidence of a medical issue (such as a heart attack)? For example, if a drug had an NNT of 50 for heart attacks, then 50 people have to take the drug in order to prevent one heart attack.