Research

NICE guidance offers new NHS treatment for high cholesterol

Thousands of people with high cholesterol will soon have access to a new treatment option on the NHS, according to final NICE guidance published today.

Around 70,000 adults in England with primary hypercholesterolaemia or mixed dyslipidaemia, also known as high cholesterol, will now be eligible for treatment with bempedoic acid with ezetimibe, if statins cannot be taken, or have not worked for them.

Current standard treatment for high cholesterol includes dietary changes and statins for lowering low‑density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels. People may also be treated with ezetimibe and either alirocumab or evolocumab when their cholesterol levels are not lowered enough with the maximally tolerated dose of statins.

The new NICE guidance means bempedoic acid with ezetimibe will be offered as an option for people who are unable to use statins and whose high cholesterol is not well-controlled with ezetimibe alone.

Deputy Chief Executive and Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, Meindert Boysen, said: “High cholesterol, if left untreated, can lead to a range of serious health conditions. Although statins and other treatments are used successfully by a large portion of the population, some people may require other options to control their cholesterol.

“We are pleased to be able to recommend bempedoic acid with ezetimibe as a new treatment option for these individuals.”

Bempedoic acid with ezetimibe are both taken once daily in tablet form. They can be used as separate tablets (Nilemdo by Daiichi Sankyo, plus ezetimibe) or in a fixed-dose combination (Nustendi by Daiichi Sankyo).

The full guidance can be accessed here.

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