New, Costly Drug Forces Doctors to Provide Proof of Statin Intolerance

?In an ongoing mission to highlight the importance of successfully managing life threatening cholesterol and heart disease, Pulmin has released updated information regarding cholesterol lowering drugs.

A new class of cholesterol inhibitor drugs is entering the pharmaceutical market and has the potential to change the fundamentals of heart disease management — directly affecting the millions of people who struggle to keep their cholesterol in a healthy range.

Until recently, statins were the only available option for cholesterol control. But, approximately 10% to 25% of patients prescribed it will develop an intolerance to the treatment, characterized by significant muscle pain that requires doctors to lower the dosage or withdraw the use of statins all together.

Many of these patients are understandably hopeful that these new drugs will benefit them, yet they may never have the opportunity to find out. Although the first new drug, Praluent, was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, and the second, Repatha, is pending approval by August 27, these drugs won’t be very affordable. With a starting rate of about $40, insurance companies would obviously prefer to pay for the much less expensive statin therapy for those patients who can tolerate it.

Leslie Cho, section head of preventative cardiology and rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic, referenced a recent study she was involved in when asked for comment. Her research focused on patients who were considered statin intolerant. After applying alternative strategies, she found that approximately 70% were actually statin tolerant. When asked about the other 30%, she said, “Clearly there is a group of patients that has statin intolerance, but since there is no blood test to determine whether a person is statin intolerant, doctors are left to determine this by other means.”

In a recent interview, Joelle Evers, a representative for Pulmin, expressed his concern for people who are statin intolerant and struggle with high cholesterol and heart disease, saying, “There really isn’t very many options available when it comes to pharmaceutical cholesterol inhibitors. Each patient is an individual and what works well for one person, may not be the right therapy for someone else. This company is hopeful that every viable therapy will one day be readily available, giving each person a chance at the relief they deserve.”

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Release ID: 87948