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Evolocumab News

Many Patients Denied Costly New Cholesterol Drugs

Posted 28 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 28, 2017 – Expensive new medicines offer hope to patients with uncontrolled "bad" cholesterol, but the high cost keeps many patients from getting them, a new study says. The injectable drugs – approved for use in the United States in 2015 – are known as PCSK9 inhibitors. They include Praluent (alirocumab) and Repatha (evolocumab). But, researchers found, of tens of thousands of patients prescribed the drugs, nearly half were denied insurance coverage. And high copays seemed to prevent many others from filling their prescriptions. "We were surprised by how little clinical factors – like how high your cholesterol was – mattered to whether or not you got approved," said study lead author Dr. Ann Marie Navar. "We hope that this analysis prompts a bigger assessment of how limited patient access is to new therapies," added Navar, an assistant professor of cardiology at ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Repatha, Praluent, Alirocumab, Evolocumab, Repatha Pushtronex

New Cholesterol Drugs Vastly Overpriced, Study Contends

Posted 22 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 22, 2017 – Are new medicines for people with out-of-control cholesterol wildly overpriced? It's a question that's sparking debate among consumers and providers of care. Now, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) report that the price of these drugs – called PCSK9 inhibitors – would have to be slashed by a whopping 71 percent to be deemed cost-effective. PCSK9 inhibitors are a relatively new class of medicines for treating patients whose LDL (bad) cholesterol isn't well-controlled on statins or who cannot tolerate statins. Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Crestor (rosuvastatin) are examples of first-line statins doctors typically prescribe to patients with high cholesterol. The UCSF team didn't question whether these new medicines are effective in reducing heart attacks and strokes. "These are super awesome drugs, they really work," said study ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, Repatha, Praluent, Lescol, Lescol XL, Alirocumab, Mevacor, Altoprev, Pitavastatin

Powerful New Cholesterol Med Won't Harm Memory, Easing Concerns

Posted 17 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16, 2017 – Despite some early concerns, a new study suggests the powerful cholesterol drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors may not cause memory problems or other mental symptoms. The drugs, which include evolocumab (Repatha) and alirocumab (Praluent), were approved in the United States in 2015. That came after trials showed they can dramatically slash LDL cholesterol (the "bad" kind), including in people with a genetic condition that often causes premature heart disease. But early findings also hinted at a potential side effect: cognitive problems such as memory lapses and confusion. The risk was small, though, and it was not clear whether the drugs were actually causing the problems. Enter the new study. It's the first to actually follow PCSK9 patients over time, looking for new memory problems or other cognitive issues, said lead researcher Dr. Robert Giugliano. The study ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Repatha, Praluent, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol, Lescol XL

New Cholesterol Drugs May Beat Statins, But Price Tag Is High

Posted 17 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 17, 2017 – Two different injectable drugs can lower cholesterol levels even further than statins do, potentially warding off future heart attacks or strokes, new research suggests. However, some heart experts question whether the pricey medications, one of which costs roughly $14,000 a year to take, perform well enough to make them worth the extra money. In fact, some cardiologists said the drugs should be reserved only for patients with the highest heart risks. The drugs, evolocumab (Repatha) and inclisiran, both work by targeting PCSK9, an enzyme that regulates the liver's ability to remove "bad" LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream. By blocking the enzyme, the medications spur the body to screen out more cholesterol. Clinical trial results showed that evolocumab was linked to a 15 percent reduction in the risk of major heart events in patients who are already taking ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, Repatha, Praluent, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Alirocumab

Study Suggests Newer Cholesterol Drugs Are Safe

Posted 31 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 30, 2017 – A combination of drugs that drastically lowers "bad" cholesterol levels appears safe for heart patients, but whether it prevents heart attacks or strokes isn't yet known, researchers report. "It may be that people need very low cholesterol levels to get a benefit in terms of heart attacks and stroke reduction, but that remains to be determined," said lead researcher Dr. Jennifer Robinson. She directs the University of Iowa's Preventive Intervention Center. It had been feared that very low levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol might trigger memory problems or nervous system disorders, but all the researchers found was a slightly increased risk of cataracts. That increased risk may have shown up because some of the people in the study were older and already prone to cataracts, although it could be something about the treatment itself, Robinson said. In the study, ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Crestor, Transient Ischemic Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Hypertriglyceridemia, Repatha, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Praluent, Alirocumab, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Post MI Syndrome, Evolocumab, Repatha Pushtronex

Coming Soon: Lower Cholesterol From a Twice-a-Year Shot?

Posted 15 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 – Instead of popping a pill every day, people might soon control "bad" LDL cholesterol by getting an injection at their doctor's office two or three times a year. Researchers testing a new injectable drug called Inclisiran found it cut LDL cholesterol by half or more. According to early clinical trial data, the effect could last for four to six months. Inclisiran produced "significant and durable reductions in LDL cholesterol, and thus could potentially impact cardiovascular events," said study presenter Dr. Kausik Ray, a professor of public health at Imperial College London in England. Such long-lasting effects could provide a major advance in preventing heart disease, heart attack and stroke, by helping reduce hardening of the arteries, the researchers said. The trial results were presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association annual meeting in New ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Repatha, Caduet, Lescol XL, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol

Are There Alternatives to Statins?

Posted 27 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 27, 2016 – Statins are the go-to therapy for lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol, but other treatments also can effectively reduce risk of future heart problems, a new evidence review reports. These alternative therapies – including a heart-healthy diet, other cholesterol-lowering medications, and even intestinal bypass surgery – seem to confer the same level of heart health protection as statins when cholesterol levels decrease, according to the findings. Nonstatin therapies reduced the risk of heart problems by 25 percent for each 1 millimole per liter (mmol/L) decrease in LDL cholesterol levels. That's very similar to the 23 percent reduction per 1 mmol/L decrease seen with statins like atorvastatin (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor), the researchers said. What's more, the benefits of these therapies stack up if more than one proves effective at lowering a person's ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Welchol, Cholestyramine, Lovastatin, Zocor, Zetia, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Vytorin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Gastric Bypass Surgery, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Questran, Livalo

FDA Approves Repatha (evolocumab) Pushtronex - First And Only Single Monthly Injection for a PCSK9 Inhibitor

Posted 1 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., July 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Repatha® (evolocumab) Pushtronex™ system (on-body infusor with prefilled cartridge), a new, monthly single-dose administration option.1 The Pushtronex system is a hands-free device designed to provide 420 mg of Repatha in a single dose. Repatha is a human monoclonal antibody that blocks a protein called proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), which inhibits the body's natural system for eliminating "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol or LDL-C) from the blood.1 Repatha is the first and only PCSK9 inhibitor to offer a monthly single-dose delivery option. Repatha (evolocumab) Pushtronex system (on-body infusor with prefilled cartridge) "The Pushtronex system exemplifies Amgen's continued innovation and c ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Repatha, Evolocumab

Negative News on Statins Tied to Dropped Prescriptions

Posted 2 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2015 – News reports on the downsides of statins may push some people to stop taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs, a new study hints. The findings, published Dec. 2 in the European Heart Journal, cannot prove that media stories drive statin users to give up their prescriptions. Instead, Danish researchers found a broad correlation between "negative" media coverage and people's odds of quitting a statin within six months of their first prescription. But even without a clear cause-and-effect connection, experts said it's reasonable to assume that media stories had an influence over some statin users in the study. It rings true to Dr. Thomas Whayne Jr., of the Gill Heart Institute at the University of Kentucky. "I've seen this happen a lot," said Whayne, who was not involved in the study. "News stories come out, and you have patients saying, 'I'm not going to take ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Muscle Pain, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Pre-Diabetes, Zetia, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, Repatha

Heart Disease Doesn't Take a Holiday

Posted 25 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2015 – People with heart disease should take a number of precautions if they travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, an expert suggests. The first step is to be as well-prepared on your trip as you are at home, said Dr. Winston Gandy Jr., a cardiologist at Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta. "Make sure when you travel that you have your medicine," Gandy said in an American Heart Association news release. Some people carry a copy of their original prescriptions in case they lose their medications, but having a list of your medications and your cardiologist's phone number should be sufficient. It's also a good idea to tell your cardiologist where you'll be. "Chances are your cardiologist is going to know someone there, either personally or by reputation," who can provide you with help if needed, Gandy said. Research medical facilities at your destination, and know what ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Niacin, Benicar HCT, Niaspan, Lovastatin, Zocor, Exforge, Azor, Diovan HCT, Rosuvastatin, Hyzaar, Lotrel, Avalide, Red Yeast Rice, Hydrochlorothiazide/Lisinopril, Pravachol

FDA Approves Repatha for High Cholesterol

Posted 31 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 28, 2015 – Repatha (evolocumab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the second non-statin drug in its class approved to treat high cholesterol. The injected drug, among a new class called PCSK9 inhibitors, is sanctioned for people who are unable to reduce levels of the so-called LDL "bad" cholesterol with statin therapy and exercise, the agency said in a news release. Low-density lipoprotein, commonly known as LDL, builds up in the blood from natural and food sources, and is a leading cause of heart disease. About one in four deaths in the United States is linked to heart disease, making it the top cause of death among men and women. The condition kills about 610,000 people in the United States annually, the FDA said. Repatha is an antibody that targets the PCSK9 protein, which inhibits the liver's ability to remove LDL from the blood. Its most ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Repatha, Evolocumab

FDA Approves Repatha - Second Drug in New Class of Cholesterol-Lowering Medications

Posted 31 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 27, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved a second drug that's part of a potent new class of medications that sharply cut levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol. Repatha (evolocumab), an injectable drug, works by blocking a protein that interferes with the liver's ability to remove LDL cholesterol from the blood. In July, the FDA approved Praluent (alirocumab), another injectable drug in the same class of medications as Repatha. Both drugs are called PCSK9 inhibitors, which don't seem to cause the muscle problems that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs sometimes can. "Repatha provides another treatment option in this new class of drugs for patients with familial hypercholesterolemia or with known cardiovascular disease who have not been able to lower their LDL cholesterol enough with statins," said Dr. John Jenkins, director of the FDA's Office of New ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Repatha, Evolocumab

FDA Approves Repatha (evolocumab) to Treat Certain Patients with High Cholesterol

Posted 31 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

August 27, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Repatha (evolocumab) injection for some patients who are unable to get their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol under control with current treatment options. Repatha, the second drug approved in a new class of drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors, is approved for use in addition to diet and maximally-tolerated statin therapy in adult patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH), homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH), or clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, such as heart attacks or strokes, who require additional lowering of LDL cholesterol. Familial hypercholesterolemia (encompassing both HeFH and HoFH) is an inherited condition that causes high levels of LDL cholesterol. A high level of LDL cholesterol in the blood is linked to cardiovascular or heart disease. Heart ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Repatha, Evolocumab

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Related Condition Support Groups

High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, High Cholesterol

Related Drug Support Groups

Repatha, Repatha Pushtronex

Evolocumab Patient Information at Drugs.com