Hundreds of thousands to benefit from new heart attack and stroke preventative
The treatment will reduce the risk of around 425,000 of cardiovascular events
NICE has published final draft guidance for the use of icosapent ethyl in reducing the risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes. The treatment has been recommended for use in adults who have raised levels of a specific type of blood fat called triglycerides.
Triglycerides form the body’s main source of energy, and are essential for good health. However, too much in your blood can indicate a higher risk of cardiovascular events. It can also cause damage to arteries in organs such as the brain, heart, kidneys, and eyes.
Helen Knight, interim director of medicines evaluation at NICE, commented: “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 have raised blood fats. And although lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, can help to reduce their risk, these may not work for everyone.”
The recommendation means that around 425,000 people could now benefit from the first licensed treatment shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people with controlled low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, which is also sometimes referred to as “bad” cholesterol), who are taking a statin and who have raised levels of triglycerides.
Knight continued: “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.”
Clinical trial evidence suggests that for people with raised triglycerides who have LDL-C levels controlled by statins, and who have cardiovascular disease, icosapent ethyl (also called Vazkepa and made by Amarin) reduces their risk of cardiovascular events by over a quarter, compared with placebos.