An expensive new drug that radically lowers cholesterol levels has proven to also significantly reduce the chances of a heart attack or stroke in high risk patients. This is according to the results of a study recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Amgen, the maker of the drug, Repatha, paid for the nearly $1 billion study and hoped to legitimize their expectation that the drug would do more than just lower the levels of LDL cholesterol – and it was proven. According to this New York Times article, Dr. Eugene Braunwald, a cardiologist at Harvard Medical School, believes that this new class of drugs have the potential to “improve the health and longevity of millions of Americans with heart disease.” Considering heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans, this is very good news. However, the challenge here is cost. These new drugs have a list price of $14,523 a year. Check out the article to learn more about this financial barrier and the reluctance of insurance companies to pay for this class of drugs before the new data was released.
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