Studies find new drugs greatly lower cholesterol
Telegraph-Herald (Dubuque, IA)
The first large studies of these drugs were presented Saturday at an
Several companies are developing these drugs, which are aimed at 70 million Americans and millions more worldwide who have high LDL or "bad" cholesterol, a major risk for heart disease.
Three studies of
As impressive as that is, it's still just part of the picture. Doctors want evidence that the way these drugs lower cholesterol also will lead to fewer heart attacks and deaths, because that proof already exists for statins. New studies are underway to test this, but
That was enough to win approval for statins and Zetia, but use of Zetia has declined since 2008, when research showed it failed to help prevent heart attacks even though it cut cholesterol. Hopes are high that the new
"I would be happy to see it approved" on the cholesterol results alone, said Dr.
Nearly all current cholesterol medicines - fibrates, niacin and top-selling statins - are decades old. Statins such as Lipitor, Zocor and Crestor curb cholesterol production. Zetia, which came out about a decade ago, helps block the absorption of cholesterol from the intestine.