Mar 21, 2017 01:14 AM EDT
There is as much as 15 percent possibility to prevent heart attacks and strokes through new medication called evolocumab or commonly known as Repatha. However, the medication doesn't come cheap, making patients hesitant to take the drug. To give an idea, keeping the cholesterol level to as low as 30 comes at $1,000 price tag per month.
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a 15 percent drop in the chances of cardiac arrests or any other risky cardiovascular event is possible. These also include stroke, severe chest pain, and heart attack. Repatha achieves this effect by pinning down the cholesterol level to 30. Comparably, the figure is way below the ideal LDL level of 100.
While Repatha has a dramatic reduction to these life-threatening ailments, the medication could kill the family budget. An injection should be done once a month with an indefinite timeframe for up to when the drug should be administered. If the 15 percent reduction is substantial enough for those with heart problems, then they should be ready to shell out $1,000 per injection.
According to Dr. Peter Bach of Center of Health Policy and Outcomes, people should consider that under medical parlance, a 15 percent reduction is not really effective. Bach stressed that Repatha did prevent deaths from cardiac arrests but the overall figure of heart-related mortality did not lower at all.
Meanwhile, The Forbes shares Bach's opinion. It denoted the slow reception towards Repatha mainly because of limited research about its effectivity. The drug itself is clouded in uncertainties. The same article used a simple mathematical equation to estimate the costs of medication. In the end, a 10-year medication can crudely translate to $1.4 million.
The same report bluntly asked the pressing question about Repatha's cost versus effect. How can the cost justify alongside its benefits? After all, it is most likely that insurers or any health coverage will not cover such expensive medication.