New "Fast Facts" Highlights Impact of High Cholesterol on Europe

More than 50 percent of Europeans have raised cholesterol, increasing their risk of heart attack, stroke and death – and costing the EU billions every year in health care expenses and lost productivity.  So explains a new “Fast Facts” policy brief from the European Alliance for Patient Access, a division of the Global Alliance for Patient Access.

***PRESS RELEASE*** Statement from Cardiovascular Patient Advocates on Troubling ICER Report on PCSK9 Inhibitors

STATEMENT FROM KEITH FERDINAND, MD, CARDIOLOGIST:

“ICER’s report is a disappointment for patients and physicians and other practitioners who have seen expected results with these drugs. For patients suffering with extremely high cholesterol, these medications can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Unfortunately, ICER’s report could jeopardize many patient’s ability to access the life-saving medication they and their physicians and other providers have determined is the best course of care.”

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back for Heart Patients

A money-back deal for cholesterol-lowering PCSK9 inhibitors doesn’t cut costs enough, claims a new analysis from a University of Pittsburgh researcher.  The drug’s manufacturer says the numbers used to calculate her cost figures don’t reflect reality.  But the voice that’s missing from this public debate is the one that arguably has the most to lose – patients, who already struggle to access breakthrough cardiovascular therapies.

Access to PCSK9 Inhibitors

Approved by the FDA to treat patients with genetic high cholesterol and those who have already experienced a cardiac event, PCSK9 inhibitors can lower stubborn “bad” cholesterol for patients who’ve found few results with existing treatments.  But the drugs’ price point has led health plans to establish extensive prior authorization processes to limit costs.  A national IfPA health plan report card found that 43 percent of patients are denied access to the PCSK9 inhibitor their doctor prescribes.  

Read more at Institute for Patient Access. 

***PRESS RELEASE*** Cardiovascular Health Forum to Highlight Access Barriers to Groundbreaking, Cholesterol-Lowering Therapies

Florida health plans reject nearly 50 percent of claims for treatment

WASHINGTON – On Saturday, August 5, the Partnership to Advance Cardiovascular Health will host a health forum, “Advancing Cardiovascular Health & Patient Access to Innovative Therapies.” The lunchtime event in Orlando at the Florida Medical Association’s annual meeting will bring together patient advocates, clinicians, and policymakers to discuss innovations in cardiovascular therapies, high rates of cardiovascular disease in Florida and barriers that patients face in accessing new cholesterol-lowering drugs. Seth Baum, MD, founder of Excel Medical Clinical Trials and president of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology, will lead the forum.