FDA approved two drugs that lower high triglycerides, Lovaza® and Vascepa®. Both of these drugs contain fish oils and have been shown to lower high triglyceride levels, just like the OTC fish oil capsules. However there is no evidence that using fish oils help the patients.
Acute pancreatitis is a complication of high triglycerides. There was no reduction in acute pancreatitis in clinical studies using these two drugs.
Fish oils have been extensively studied in prevention of coronary artery disease. Studies in primary prevention as well as secondary prevention have failed to show any benefit.
Even if you believe that there might be some benefit, OTC fish oils deliver the same stuff for about $3.00 a month. The cost of these two drugs would be twenty to thirty times higher.
Medical Letter 54:1401 October 15, 2012