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PCSK9 inhibitors: a major advance in cholesterol-lowering drug therapy
- By Gregory Curfman, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Former Editor-in-Chief, Harvard Health Publishing
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Hear about this drug – an injecction on Channel 2 news tonight, but stated it cost from $7,000. to $12,000./ month – Guess only the very rich will not die of heart problems.
I have familial hypercholesteremia so I’m a candidate for this med. I should be excited but I’m not. High cholesterol is a biomarker not a disease. Atherosclerosis is the disease. Our insistence on treating high cholesterol as a disease, inevitably puts the patient’s focus on the wrong thing– the biomarker. To wit, I examined aggregate anonymized health data for 200+ employees and those who met their LDL targets had worse lipid profiles (triglyceride/HDL ratio) than those who didn’t.
A modest proposal: measure your patients for Total Antioxidant Status (TAS) and Oxidative Stress (OS), then treat those who are out of range to raise their glutathione status with NAC, glycine and R-Lipoic Acid.. These are the biomarkers we should be paying attention to. You’ll not only reduce heart attacks, but ameliorate every other chronic inflammatory disease in the process for a fraction of the cost of PCSK9 inhibitors. Cost-benefit matters.
The idea of PCSK9 is facinating and amazing. But many things are coming on the way as problems. The prize, how many can afford it ? then the Biweekly injections, is it that easy?
Again, is it correct that reducing the Cholesterol alone is the solution to prevent Heart attacks, what about the long term side effects like cognitive disorders, effect on sexual hormons. I think all these issues need to be addressed.
Any way a great advancement in research, no doubt.
@dean r: Of course only the “cholesterol skeptics”, many of whom have no formal medical education and/or a vested interest in selling their sensationalist books, have an understanding of cause and effects, whereas the vast majority of qualified health experts got it all wrong. Sure!
Why are we going down the route of lowering cholesterol rather than the direct cause of the problem? Stopping inflammation. If inflammation didn’t exist it wouldn’t be grabbing cholesterol out of the bloodstream to pack into plaque. Does no one understand cause and effect?
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