Published on 15/11/2011
An experimental drug has been shown to raise the good cholesterol and lower the bad cholesterol in the blood, leading to hope that it could be used to lower the risk of heart disease in patients with private medical insurance.
Researchers from universities across the world examined the effects of a drug called evacetrapib on 400 patients with low HDL or high LDL, HDL being the ‘good’ cholesterol, and LDL the ‘bad’ cholesterol.
The results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, show that the drug, either alone with cholesterol reducing statins or on its own, increased HDL cholesterol and lowered LDL cholesterol.
Dr. Stephen Nicholls, the study's lead author and clinical director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Cardiovascular Diagnostics and Prevention, said: "The drug more than doubled HDL and lowered LDL by 36 per cent."
"There was a profound effect on the protective aspect of HDL and lowered LDL in a way we see with statins. If the drug was added to statins, we saw better lowering than with statins alone."
Although these results are promising, they are preliminary. Without additional long-term studies, it is unclear what sort of an effect the drug will have on decreasing the number of deaths from heart disease or heart attacks.
"We don't know what will be the effect on clinical events," said Nicholls. "That will be the major determinant of whether these drugs come into clinical practice."
Patients with private medical insurance may have access to similar drugs on their policy in the future. Compare health insurance policies online now to make sure you are covered for new revolutionary drugs which are too expensive for use on the NHS.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011Categories: Medical