Los Angeles Times
FDA approves new cholesterol drug
The Food and Drug Administration approved a first-ofa-kind drug that lowers artery-clogging cholesterol more than older drugs that have been prescribed for decades.
The drug from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. offers an important new option for millions of patients at high risk of heart disease.
But the drug’s sky-high price tag — $14,600 per year — is certain to escalate debate about the cost of breakthrough drugs and who should take them.
Praluent is the first in a new class of biotech medications that use a novel approach to lower bad, or LDL, cholesterol. The drugs are considered the first major advance in treatment since the introduction of statin drugs more than 20 years ago, and analysts expect them to generate billions in sales.
But the prospect of introducing highly expensive, injectable drugs for one of the most common medical conditions is drawing concerns from health insurers, doctors and employers, especially since generic statin pills are now available for as little as a dime a day.
The FDA is scheduled to rule on a similar drug from Thousand Oaks-based Amgen by Aug. 27.