By Liz Szabo
Kaiser Health News
WASHINGTON — For the first time, research shows that a pricey new medication called Repatha not only dramatically lowers LDL cholesterol, the “bad cholesterol,” it also reduces patients’ risk of dying or being hospitalized.
Repatha, a man-made antibody also known as evolocumab, cut the combined risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular-related death in patients with heart disease by 20 percent, a finding that could lead more people to take the drug, according to a study presented Friday at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology.
Some doctors hailed the results as major progress against heart disease. In an editorial in The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Robin Dullaart, a researcher at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, called it a landmark study.
Others said they expected more from the $14,000-a-year drug. It was approved in 2015 without evidence that it prevents heart attacks, simply because its cholesterol reductions were so dramatic and promising.
Doctors often recommend that people keep their LDL levels under 100 milligrams per deciliter, and that people at very high risk reduce their LDL under 70. [Read more…] about Cholesterol drug prevents heart attacks — but doesn’t come cheap