Cholesterol wonderdrug to save thousands of lives as NHS strikes ‘world-leading deal’

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The revolutionary new treatment, known as Inclisiran, is delivered as an injection twice a year and can be used alongside statins. It comes after the NHS struck a historic deal with Switzerland-based drugmaker Novartis to enable 300,000 patients to benefit from the lifesaving treatment over the next three years. That figure could then rise to nearly half a million in the future.

It has been estimated that Inclisiran could prevent 55,000 heart attacks and strokes, saving 30,000 lives within the next decade.

Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of the NHS, said: “The NHS is committed to using cutting-edge treatments to save and improve patients’ lives.

“Heart disease is still one of the major killer conditions so it is fantastic that we now have such an effective and convenient treatment for those living with dangerously high cholesterol levels.

“This world-leading deal for the rollout of Inclisiran will save lives and enable hundreds of thousands of people to benefit from this revolutionary treatment, while also being fair to taxpayers”.

More than two in five people in England have high cholesterol which puts them at significant risk of developing heart disease.

Heart disease is the world’s biggest killer and annually accounts for around a quarter of deaths in England.

But the new deal means nurses will soon be able to administer Inclisiran as an injection in GP surgeries across England, meaning patients can avoid regular visits to hospital.

After an initial dose, the drug will be given again after three months and then twice a year.

It comes after the treatment showed promising signs during clinical trials in lowering the level of a type of fatty substance called LDL-C found in the blood.

High levels of LDL-C makes people more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.

The cholesterol-lowering treatment uses RNA interference (RNAi) to boost the liver’s ability to remove harmful cholesterol from the blood.

Preventing thousands of heart attacks and strokes over the next 10 years is a priority for the NHS as set out in its Long Term Plan, which also outlines how the health service will take a new population health approach over this decade.

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This ground-breaking new drug further demonstrates the UK’s excellent track record for identifying the world’s most innovative treatments and ensuring NHS patients are able to access them at the earliest opportunity.

“Thanks to this collaboration, this life-saving new treatment will make a difference to hundreds of thousands of people across England, expected to save 30,000 lives and prevent 55,000 heart attacks and strokes.

“This is a huge step forward in tackling the scourge of heart disease, which tragically kills thousands every year.

“I want to thank the NHS, Novartis and NICE for this work to help treat one of the world’s deadliest diseases.”

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