AIM: To survey attitudes towards prescribing statins in a family practice setting and to develop an explanatory model of determinants for prescribing statins. METHODS: A random sample of 250 GPs were drawn from a Slovenian Family Medicine Society register and were contacted by anonymous postal questionnaire between June and October 2006. RESULTS: We found no major differences in decisions among the GPs with regard to their age, sex or time in general practice. We identified six factors that influence statin prescribing behavior in GPs and explain 63.5% of the variation: efficacy and utility explained 14.9% of the variation, personal involvement in drug promotional activities accounted for a further 14.3%, attitudes towards drug marketing 10.3%, patient expectations 9.5%, drug price 8.1% and peer pressure 6.5%. CONCLUSIONS: The determinants that influence statin prescribing behavior among GPs in our study covered an array of explanatory items consistent with proposals in the literature but factors differ to some extent from proposed theoretical models. The explanatory model explained a high proportion of the variation in deciding on a particular statin. Efficacy and safety remain important factors in selection of an appropriate drug but are far from being the most or only important factors.