NICE recommends use of cholesterol-lowering drug

cholesterol lowering drug, inclisirin
© Patcharaporn Puttipon 636

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) believes that Inclisiran, a cholesterol-lowering drug, should be available on the NHS

In 2019, 39.65% of people in the UK had high levels of LDL cholesterol. Cholesterol is a huge issue across the globe, as it increases the risk of heart disease in individuals with too much. When the blood vessels become blocked with fatty deposits, it becomes increasingly difficult for the heart to work.

What is Inclisiran?

NICE have recommended a new drug, which could theoretically help 300,000 people in the next three years. Inclisiran, a cholesterol-lowering drug, uses RNA to boost the liver’s ability to remove harmful cholesterol from the bloodstream.

People with primary hypercholesterolaemia and people who have abnormally high levels of fats in their blood called mixed dyslipidaemia are at increased risk of cardiovascular events.

The NICE recommendation would mean that more people eventually have access to this drug, if they fail to reduce their cholesterol amount. This would intervene in the frequency of heart attacks in the UK, and potentially change how treatment is administered to those with slightly more difficult cases.

What is the current standard cholesterol treatment?

Right now, the standard treatment means dietary changes, statins and other cholesterol lowering drugs, alone or in combination – sometimes, this combined set of treatments does not work. However, Inclisiran is thought to be capable of working where other treatments have failed.

To prove this, a new research trial is being launched for the drug. In the clinical trial, scientists will try to understand how inclisiran performs in contrast to other treatments and try to establish what the long term effect on cardiovascular health is.

Meindert Boysen, NICE deputy chief executive and director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said: “Inclisiran represents a potential game-changer in preventing thousands of people from dying prematurely from heart attacks and strokes.”


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