NEW CHOLESTEROL MEDICINE
The FDA has given preliminary approval to a new class of cholesterol medication called PCSK9 inhibitors. These drugs, which work differently than statins, are indicated for lowering LDL cholesterol in patients with hypercholesterolemia, especially for patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH). Other groups predicted to get special benefit include those at high cardiovascular risk or who don’t tolerate statins. This looks like it will be an injectable medication and will have a good side effect profile.
There are a few problems:
1. Many people do not want to inject a medicine as opposed to taking a pill.
2. The are NO OUTCOME studies that show that this drug will actually prevent heart attacks.
3. Most insurance companies will most likely NOT pay for this. (My guess is that it will initially cost at least $25,000/year!!)
The FDA is supposed to give final approval in July and there is already a second PCSK9 drug in the wings.