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New cholesterol drugs are overpriced, independent analysis finds

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h4864 (Published 10 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4864
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Two new cholesterol lowering drugs in the class known as PCSK9 inhibitors are likely to prove effective in reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease but are hugely overpriced, a new cost effectiveness analysis has concluded.1

The analysis, released on 8 September, was conducted by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, a Boston based non-profit organization that performs cost effectiveness reviews of new treatments, tests, and health delivery programs

Currently the wholesale price for treatment with either of the two drugs, alirocumab (marketed as Praluent) and evolocumab (Repatha), is set at more than $14 000 (£9000; €12 500) a year. But the new analysis shows that, on the basis of a cost effectiveness threshold of $100 000 per quality of life year saved, the annual price should be in the range …

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