A July 21 article, Europe approves Amgen's first- in-class cholesterol drug, reported the price of new cholesterol-lowering drugs, but ignores the value that new drugs create for patients and the healthcare system.
Statins lower levels of bad cholesterol by an average of 19 percent. As a result, they've prevented thousands of heart-related deaths and hospitalizations. That's generated yearly savings of nearly $5 billion. New, more effective anti-cholesterol medications could boost those savings exponentially.
The same is true for other diseases. According to Columbia University economist Frank Lichtenberg, every dollar spent on newer, more innovative medicines reduces spending elsewhere in the healthcare system by more than six dollars.
Kenneth Thorpe, chairman, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, Washington, D.C.