Even though Sheryl and Bill both have high cholesterol they have two very different stories. Sheryl is able to control her cholesterol level through statin therapy combined with lifestyle changes like a better diet and increased exercise. On the other hand, Bill struggles to control his cholesterol with statins and other cholesterol-lowering medicines. Sheryl’s story reflects the opportunity presented by existing treatment options to achieve better control of high cholesterol; while Bill’s story reflects the significant unmet medical need that remains.
The difference between these stories highlights why every patient is different and only some will benefit from a new class of cholesterol-lowering medicines, PCSK9 inhibitors. These new medicines will not replace existing treatment options that work for millions of Americans and will address a significant unmet medical need in a small subset of people.
Read more about how many Americans could be treated with new PCSK9 inhibitors here.
A patient like Sheryl can control cholesterol through lifestyle changes like diet and exercise
Sheryl diligently takes her statin drug, but with her demanding job, she struggles to stay active and maintain a healthy diet. She recently learned her cholesterol climbed above a safe level and her doctor tells her she needs to make some lifestyle changes. She adopts a new diet and exercise routine and at a recent check-up her doctor credits her new lifestyle for bringing her cholesterol levels under control. While she has made great progress, she needs to keep up with her new lifestyle, and continue to take her medicines consistently, in order to stay on track and healthy. She is one of millions of Americans able to keep high cholesterol levels at bay with diet, exercise and statin therapy.
A patient like Bill has a significant unmet medical need
Bill recently learned he has familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), an inherited condition which makes the body unable to adequately remove bad cholesterol from the blood. He’s been exposed to many years of high cholesterol levels and already has signs of cardiovascular disease. He follows a strict low-fat diet, exercises regularly and takes a high dose statin, but still struggles to achieve an adequate decrease in his cholesterol levels. Concerned about a possible cardiovascular event, Bill's doctor advises him to undergo a procedure in a hospital every two weeks known as LDL apheresis, in which his blood is pumped through a machine to remove unwanted cholesterol. Bill is committed to doing whatever it takes, but his doctor informs him that he’s exhausted prescription therapies that may help him. Bill hopes new treatment options may offer him better options in the future.
Patients like Sheryl and Bill are just a couple of the stories we will highlight in the coming weeks to show who might benefit from these new medicines. Stay tuned to read the stories of Betty and George and how they try to control their cholesterol.
Read more about fighting high cholesterol at www.fromhopetocures.org/heartdisease
Holly Campbell Holly Campbell is former deputy vice president of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on the cost and value of medicines. Prior to joining PhRMA, Holly worked for large and small public relations firms where she provided strategic communications counsel, media relations and partnership expertise to health care and pharmaceutical clients. In her free time, she enjoys taking barre classes, trying new restaurants and spending time with Boss and Poppy, her rescue pups.