Most cardiovascular disease patients drastically underuse statins
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is scheduled to evaluate the first of two PCSK9 cholesterol-lowering inhibitors soon.
"PCSK9s may be an appropriate solution for our members with a rare genetic condition who are unable to lower their LDL cholesterol levels," David Lassen, chief clinical officer at Prime, said. "However, for the majority of others struggling to lower their bad cholesterol levels, the best and most affordable therapy is treatment with statins, which have a long track record of safety and effectiveness. Because PCSK9s have not been proven to prevent heart attacks and their long-term safety has not yet been established, we feel compelled to help our clients optimize statin therapy prior to the initiation of PCSK9s. We believe this is the right thing to do clinically for our members and the responsible thing to do as we manage the total cost of care."
To offer patients guides for using these new drugs, Prime Therapeutics LLC has evaluated its claims data and reported that most traditional statin treatments are either not being used at all or are not being used according to the guidelines.
"At Prime, our goal is to help our members get the medicine they need to feel better and live well, while also helping keep prescriptions more affordable,” Lassen said. “Carefully reviewing prior statin use and then implementing utilization management strategies will be necessary so the appropriate high-risk patients are prescribed PCSK9s. Doing so will help keep costs for all our members within reach.”