Less than half of patients prescribed new cholesterol drug receive insurance approval

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, October 30, 2017 DALLAS, October 30, 2017 — Less than half of patients received their insurer’s approval for prescriptions of PCSK9 inhibitors, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation. PCSK9 inhibitors, like Repatha (evolocumab) and Praluent (alirocumab), work by increasing the removal of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol from the blood. They have been shown to reduce LDL by 60 percent and decrease major cardiac events but cost much more than other cholesterol-lowering drugs with an average cost of $14,300 per year. Prescriptions require prior...

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