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NICE recommends Daiichi Sankyo's cholesterol-lowering treatments for NHS England use

Published on 18/03/21 at 09:51am

NICE has recommended Daiichi Sankyo’s bempedoic acid and bempedoic acid/ezetimibe for treating primary hypercholesterolaemia (heterozygous familial and non-familial) or mixed dyslipidaemia as an adjunct to diet, only if statins are contraindicated or not tolerated, and ezetimibe alone does not control low-density lipoprotein cholesterol well enough, on the NHS in England.

The recommendation is an important milestone for patients who will have access to two important new treatment options for lowering LDL-C, or 'bad cholesterol', a leading risk factor for cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke.

Daiichi Sankyo's products are the first new cholesterol-lowering oral treatments to be made available in the UK in over a decade, with up to 100,000 patients set to benefit from the approval. England is the first country in Europe to be granted access to the drugs, which will be accessible to patients via their GPs.

Cardiovascular disease is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK. Over seven million people in the UK are affected by cardiovascular disease, and it is estimated that close to half of the adult population are living with cholesterol levels above national guidelines. High cholesterol generally does not cause symptoms, meaning the only way to find out if you have it is by taking a blood test.

The NHS has targeted preventing 150,000 cardiovascular events by 2028 as part of its Long-Term Plan objectives.

Professor Kausik Ray, Professor of Public Health and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at Imperial College London, commented: “Until now, patients with hypercholesterolaemia who cannot tolerate statins have had limited treatment options to effectively reduce their LDL-C levels, which is a leading modifiable risk factor of cardiovascular disease.

“Today’s announcement is fantastic news for patients as it marks the first new oral treatment options for high cholesterol to be made available in over a decade. Availability of treatments such as these is essential in tackling cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the UK.

“When it comes to heart health and cholesterol, there is no such thing as ‘too low LDL-C’, highlighting the importance of treatments for high-risk patients.”

Manuel Reiberg, Managing Director at Daiichi Sankyo UK, said: “We are delighted that these innovative treatments will now be easily accessible to high-risk patients. We have a long-standing heritage in bringing cardiovascular therapies to the patients who need them and continue to be committed to investing in and supporting the unmet need in this disease area.

“Today’s decision is a landmark step forward for patients and the NHS in working towards a national ambition of preventing cardiovascular disease and events in line with the Long-Term Plan.

“We are now more dedicated than ever to reduce the impacts of the UK’s biggest killer through our ongoing collaboration with the medical community and the NHS.”

Darcy Jimenez

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