Health News

UK cost agency rebuffs Sanofi cholesterol drug but backs Amgen's

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s cost watchdog has recommended that patients with high cholesterol should not get Sanofi and Regeneron’s new cholesterol-lowering injection Praluent, although Amgen’s similar drug Repatha will be available.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) cost watchdog said in draft guidance on Monday that Praluent’s benefits were uncertain and it was likely to overshoot standard cost-effectiveness thresholds.

NICE, which decides if drugs should be used on the state health service, had initially reached a similar decision for Amgen’s product in November.

But in a change of heart on Friday it said Repatha could be an option for some patients, provided it was supplied at an agreed - but undisclosed - price discount.

Both Praluent and Repatha belong to a potent new class of drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors that have proved highly effective at lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Reporting by Ben Hirschler, editing by David Evans