New drug breakthrough dramatically cuts cholesterol

Evolocumab and clinical outcomes in patients with CVD

New drug breakthrough dramatically cuts cholesterol

However, most patients can not afford the drug as it costs an astronomical $14,523 a year. However, there are some deus which are prescribed to the patients with high levels of cholesterol but the cost of some them are really high.

Repatha, a PCSK9 inhibitor, dramatically lowers LDL, or bad cholesterol, in patients and was approved for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2015. By blocking the enzyme, the medications spur the body to screen out more cholesterol.

Amgen (AMGN) stock crashed Friday after announcing its cholesterol drug Repatha trimmed the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death by 20%, missing broader views for a reduction of up to 24%. About 80% had already had a heart attack, and the rest had had a stroke or had pain in their legs and feet from narrowed arteries.

The drug had no effect on CV death when measured separately-the heart attack and stroke numbers included fatal episodes-and no effect on angina hospitalizations, and a 22% reduction in risk for revascularization procedures.

As Amgen reveals, the study was statistically powered around the hard major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE) composite endpoint of first heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death.

There are approximately 2.3 million people living with coronary heart disease in the United Kingdom, according to the NHS.

"The disappointing thing to me was there was absolutely no difference in mortality", Stone said. Repatha comes for a whopping $14,000 for a year. It works by using artificial antibodies to block the receptors for PCSK9 in the liver. But the clinical trials supporting its approval did not take the next step to show whether the therapy, known as a PCSK9 inhibitor, could actually improve or extend the lives of people taking it.

"You have a treatment regimen that gives you on average, with an initial starting dosing regimen, a 50 percent (LDL) reduction through to nine months", said Ray.

Yet Repatha's high cost could burden the US health system, said Dr. Steve Miller, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit manager. The cost of prescription drugs has become a growing source of concern with doctors and patients, but it's not a factor considered by an independent committee used by Express Script to determine coverage of a new drug, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steve Miller said.

Leading cardiologist Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, told the Associated Press that the results are modest and "not quite what we hoped or expected".

Put those two stats together, and Repatha patients saw a 19% reduction in risk for the first year and 33% after that, SVP of global development Elliott Levy said in an interview.

Excitement about Repatha - also called evolocumab - has been building in the past three years, with scientists predicting it could "switch off" heart disease. Options on the table include a refund of the drug's cost for any eligible patient which suffers a heart attack or stroke while on the drug. Even though these patients were optimally treated with the latest therapies, they were still at high risk for an additional cardiac event. Only those diagnosed with a genetic condition that makes them have high cholesterol levels and those who cannot deal with statins' side effects can be treated with Repatha injections.

There have been claims by insurance companies that the drug is not particularly beneficial to those suffering from high cholesterol.

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