Cholesterol and a potentially ‘game-changing’ drug approval
A new drug called inclisiran has just been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and could potentially be a ‘game changer’ for people who have previously had a heart attack or stroke. NICE (2021) issued guidance on the 1 September 2021 that recommended the new anti-cholesterol drug inclisiran (Leqvio, Novartis) for people with primary hypercholesterolaemia or mixed dyslipidaemia, who have already had a cardiovascular event, such as a myocardial infarction or stroke.
The decision follows an agreement on a commercial deal privately agreed between the drug company Novartis, NHS England and NHS Improvement. The deal is particularly striking, as inclisiran will be available at a discount to its list price, for an undisclosed amount. The drug comes as an injection and would only need to be administered twice a year. Those with hypercholesterolaemia who have had a previous cardiac event would also be eligible for this new drug, with the aim of preventing them from having another cardiac event. Inclisiran can be used on its own or alongside statins or other cholesterol-lowering drugs.
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