FDA Approves A New Class of Lipid-Lowering Drugs – PCSK9 Inhibitors
Heart Health News!! One out of three American adults is estimated to have high LDL cholesterol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Elevated LDL cholesterol is recognized as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which remains the leading cause of death worldwide. In the United States, 1 in 4 women dies from heart disease.
The FDA granted marketing approval on Thursday to evolocumab (Repatha), the second in a new class of lipid-lowering drugs — PCSK9 inhibitors. These drugs appear to sharply reduce levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol. Clinical trials of PCSK9 inhibitor drugs developed by Amgen, Sanofi and Regeneron demonstrate LDL levels are reduced by 60%. By comparison, statins — the current class of drugs that are the mainstay of treatment for high LDL — generally reduce LDL levels by 30-50%.
At this point, these new drugs appear to be quite costly. However, it is always good to know the latest options available so that you and your healthcare professional can develop the best plan of action for your individual heart health needs.