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The $14,000 cholesterol question

You remember The Godfather and Marlon Brando’s famous line from it.

Well, friend, your doc could be about to make you an offer you CAN and SHOULD refuse — for a pricey new cholesterol med that promises to bring your LDL down to rock-bottom levels.

And once you’re down there, researchers claim, your risk of a heart attack, stroke, or death from heart problems will plunge by 20 percent.

But don’t let your doc talk you into evolocumab (a.k.a. Repatha) just yet, because there’s a whole lot more to this one than meets the eye starting with the price.

The drug costs $14,000 per year. No, I didn’t leave my finger on the keyboard. That’s a 14 with THREE zeroes after it.

Now, if the drug REALLY saved or extended lives, it might even be worth the scratch, especially since insurance will pick up the tab for most of it.

But one look at the TRUE numbers shows this drug isn’t worth it at any price — because it’s not nearly the success story researchers claimed.

In the new study being touted by the drug’s maker, the raw numbers show that 7.4 percent of folks who took a statin and a placebo suffered one of those heart problems, compared to 5.9 percent of the ones who took a statin with Repatha.

That might be a difference of 20 percent on paper. But it’s an absolute difference of just 1.5 percent… at a cost of $14,000 per patient.

And that’s not even the ugliest number in the study.

I’ve saved the worst for last, my friend, because this drug just plan fell flat when it comes to the one thing that matters most. Here it is, from the company’s own news release touting the supposed benefits of the drug:

Consistent with recent trials of more intensive LDL lowering, there was no observed effect on cardiovascular mortality.”

Yes, you read that correctly.

The company not only admits that the drug had NO EFFECT on mortality, it also confessed that this isn’t even surprising.

It’s CONSISTENT with other studies on lowering cholesterol.

In other words, they’ve FINALLY admitted that the dramatic cuts in LDL cholesterol being pushed by the mainstream DON’T save or extend lives!

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you; this is exactly what you’ve read right here in the Daily Dose.

The problem isn’t “high” LDL cholesterol, and it never was. You actually NEED the stuff to transport fat-soluble nutrients and power your immune system.

The TRUE cause of heart risk is something else entirely, and I’ll have some cutting-edge research on that in Wednesday’s Daily Dose.

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