Cholesterol-lowering drug goes into NHS trial

Cholesterol has long been a concern. There has been some guidance on how we can lower it, but there has not previously been much available to help.

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A twice-yearly injection could see an end to this if it becomes available on the NHS in 2021. An as-yet unlicensed injection called Inclisiran is to be made available to patients taking part in paid clinical trials later this year. Previous studies have shown that this drug can cut cholesterol levels by half in two weeks.

This news comes after the NHS struck a deal with drugmaker Novartis. The Guardian reported that Novartis will provide the injections free in exchange for the results of the clinical trials, which – of course – will be run by the NHS.

The trial will see the drug given to many people who are at risk of strokes and heart attacks. It will also need to go through the cost-effectiveness assessment of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) before becoming available. The health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock, said that the formation of this partnership is great news and a big stride forwards, with the partnership having the potential to save 30,000 lives over the next decade.

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What are clinical trials?

Have you ever wondered what are paid medical trials?. Paid clinical trials are often used to determine the effectiveness of drugs and products used in medicine with the advantage of a thorough assessment conducted over a period of time. During these trials, the pros and cons will be weighed up.

Who would it help?

More than three million people suffer from a build-up of plaque in their arteries, which causes cardiovascular disease. Many of those who currently take statins to reduce their cholesterol and the risk of a heart attack or a stroke find that taking this medication does not lower their levels enough. It has been suggested that should this new injection become available, it would be used for patients who have previously used statins but have had little or no change when using them.

The government and health secretary have stated that they are determined to find ways to save as many lives as possible and believe the partnership with this drug company is good news.