June 22, 2017 – PCSK9


Anchor lead: A new class of drugs is very effective at reducing LDL cholesterol, Elizabeth Tracey reports

PCSK9 inhibitors. The name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue but several new studies have shown that this class of injectable medications is very effective at reducing LDL cholesterol. Michael Blaha, a preventive cardiology expert at Johns Hopkins, describes what’s known.

Blaha: The PCSK9 class of drugs are an extremely exciting class that lowers LDL cholesterol up to fifty to seventy percent on top of a statin. What we not known until recently was whether adding a PCSK9 inhibitor to a statin led to further reductions in heart attacks and strokes. What we now know from the FOREY trial that adding evolucumab on top of a statin led to a further 50-70 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol, and a further 15-20 percent reduction in heart attacks and strokes on top of a statin.  :32

Blaha says for right now, these drugs will be limited to people with very high cholesterol who aren’t responding adequately to statins, since the drugs are very expensive and must be injected, usually every couple of weeks. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.