Amgen Tanks On Heart-Study; Shares Of Other Drugmakers Tumble

  • Amgen Tanks On Heart-Study; Shares Of Other Drugmakers Tumble

Amgen Tanks On Heart-Study; Shares Of Other Drugmakers Tumble

Repatha would cost almost $14,000 per year and this cost is considerably higher compared to other options available for reducing LDL cholesterol.

The investigation concluded that patients who received the evolocumab treatment had their risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, and coronary revascularization reduced. Nissen and a few other doctors pondered if LDL levels so low could be risky. Although the doctor hasn't been a part of the research, he has to lead the clinical trials of PCSK9 inhibitors earlier.

Because of its unclear benefits and high price insurers are hesitant to cover it. This will make it harder for Amgen to persuade U.S. payers to pay for the drug - as it costs a hefty $.

The refunds would go to insurance companies, not patients, Ofman said.

They found 34.7% of prescriptions were abandoned by the patients.

The offer is "a fig leaf covering a massive price", said Dr. Peter Bach, director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY.

These drugs help in the prevention of heart attacks or strokes.

But the new evidence is the first to show they actually save lives, and could mean many more become eligible in the future. And now, Amgen plans to offer a money-back guarantee to payers in hopes of revving up the lagging lauch.

Patients report few side effects from Repatha, which acts differently than statins and does not cause the muscle pain and weakness that some statin users experience.

"This is very expensive stuff", said Valentin Fuster, physician in chief at Mount Sinai Medical Hospital in NY.

Elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol can lead to cardiovascular disease and blood vessel blockage, leading to an increased risk heart attacks and stroke in patients.

Amgen says it is committed to providing personalised support services to patients and providers in the USA, through a programme of services including a Repatha co-pay card for eligible commercial patients, insurance coverage support and injection training.

The standard treatment for cholesterol, other than diet and exercise, is a generic statin, which costs $250 a year.

The patients in the trial were already taking statins, and their risk was cut further by the new therapy.

Some doctors are less impressed with the new study, which was funded by Amgen.

"It's a small reduction for a super expensive drug", said Dr. John Mandrola, a cardiologist at Baptist Health in Louisville, Ky., and chief cardiology correspondent for Medscape, who wasn't involved in the study. Patients treated with Repatha experienced change from baseline similar to placebo in all three cognitive domains tested: spatial working memory between-errors score (baseline 21.0, Repatha -0.5 versus placebo -0.9), paired associates learning total errors adjusted (baseline 25.8, change with Repatha -1.5 versus -1.5 with placebo), RTI median five-choice reaction time (baseline 355.9, 5.2 milliseconds change with Repatha versus 0.9 milliseconds with placebo). A similar drug to Repatha, called Praluent, costs about as much. Repatha is also known as evolocumab.

That showed a significant benefit, but was not sufficient to be called a home run and, according to Leerink analysts, puts a question mark over the PCSK9 inhibitor category. Chair of cardiovascular medicine, Dr. Steven Nissen also gave his inputs on Repatha. "Our results suggest this new, extremely potent class of drug can cut cholesterol dramatically, which could provide great benefit for a lot of people at risk of heart disease and stroke". Seventy-three per cent of these patients were already taking statins, and 31 per cent were taking ezetimibe.

Repatha could be an important drug for some high-risk patients, in spite of the cost, he said.

A powerful cholesterol drug cuts the risk of heart attacks by a quarter, a landmark trial has found. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.