NICE says 400,000 people could benefit from new triglyceride drug
NICE has published draft guidance recommending the use of icosapent ethyl to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in adults with raised levels of triglycerides.
The health watchdog said evidence from clinical trials had shown that the drug, which is branded as Vazkepa and manufactured by Amarin, reduces the risk of cardiovascular events by over a quarter when compared to placebo among people with raised triglycerides and cardiovascular disease whose LDL-C levels are controlled by statins.
NHS England & Improvement has estimated that between 25 and 35 per cent of people on statin therapy still have a residual risk of cardiovascular events due to elevated triglycerides.
“Until now there have been no medicines for people at risk of cardiovascular events who have raised levels of triglycerides despite having statins with or without ezetimibe,” said NICE, adding that it believes around 425,000 people could benefit from the drug.
It said it expects to publish final guidance on icosapent ethyl in July.
NICE interim director of medicines evaluation Helen Knight said: “Icosapent ethyl is the first licensed treatment of its kind for people who are at risk of heart attacks and strokes despite well controlled LDL cholesterol because they can have raised blood fats.
“Although lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, can help to reduce their risk, these may not work for everyone.
“We have worked closely with the company to identify the population most likely to gain the greatest benefit from icosapent ethyl, striking a balance between effectiveness and the best use of public funding, delivering maximum value to the taxpayer.”