Statins succeed as the first-line drug therapy to lower LDL cholesterol levels in most people who need medications, but at least one in five individuals still fails to reach the desired target. A novel class of drugs called PCSK9 inhibitors may pick up the slack where other cholesterol medications leave off. The first group of people to benefit will be those with a condition known as familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), an inherited disorder that affects about one in 200 individuals. These people carry a genetic variant that causes cholesterol levels to skyrocket.
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