Payers May Be Slow to Embrace Nexletol as Next Best Step After Statins

At the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting in New Orleans, Esperion Therapeutics, Inc., presented data from a highly anticipated clinical trial that shows its cholesterol-lowering drug Nexletol (bempedoic acid) can reduce the risk for heart attack, stroke and other serious cardiac events. Company executives say the results position bempedoic acid as the logical next step for patients who can’t or won’t tolerate statins. Yet some pharmacy benefits experts say it may be a while before the therapy makes a major dent in the market.

“If any impact is seen, it may be slow as the results of the studies were recently released over the weekend,” Mesfin Tegenu, chairman and CEO of RxParadigm, Inc., tells AIS Health, a division of MMIT. “In theory, there would be an increase in uptake for patients with an established atherosclerotic vascular disease and in those at high risk for vascular disease who are unable or unwilling to take statins,” he adds. “However, coverage may continue to be slow until the data is fully analyzed.”

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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