Health Service Focus

14.01.20

New drug set for NHS approval could save up to 30,000 lives over 10 years

The government has announced the launch of a clinical trial for a new cholesterol treatment to be made available on the NHS.

The heart disease drug has the potential to save up to 30,000 lives over the next decade thanks to a government collaboration with pharmaceutical company Novartis to tackle heart disease.

The cholesterol-lowering drug, inclisiran, is yet to be approved for NHS use but will be used as part of a large-scale NHS clinical trial expected to start later this year.

Initial research suggests that if inclisiran is given to 300,000 patients each year, it could help prevent 55,000 heart attacks and strokes. In recent trials, the bi-annual injection has shown the ability to halve bad cholesterol in only two weeks.

Heart disease is the biggest killer worldwide, and the second biggest cause of death in the UK, over three million people are suffering from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and two and a half million using statins to bring their cholesterol down.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

“As Health Secretary, I’m determined find ways to save as many lives as possible, and to do my best to stop terrible conditions like heart disease from taking people from their family and friends far too soon.

“This partnership is fantastic news and is a huge stride forwards in helping to achieve this. This collaboration has the potential to save 30,000 lives over the next 10 years and is proof that the UK continues to be the world-leading destination for revolutionary healthcare.

“I will always help the NHS reach its full potential, and novel and innovative collaborations such as this put patients at the forefront of the most promising medical breakthroughs.”

Inclisiran is expected to be widely available to patients as soon as 2021, following an approval programme at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

The roll out of the drug will help the NHS Long Term Plan reach its goal of preventing 150,000 cardiovascular deaths over ten years, and will keep the UK at the forefront of global life sciences industry.

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