Hearts & Minds Blog

New AHA/ACC Blood Cholesterol Management Guidelines

Tim Mayleben

President and Chief Executive Officer

New Blood Cholesterol Management Guidelines. This weekend, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) published an updated guideline on the management of blood cholesterol.  As lipid management experts, we wanted to summarize the most important points for you to know:

  • The updated recommendations direct physicians to continue to focus on LDL-C lowering to reduce risk in primary and secondary prevention patients
  • People with cardiovascular risk factors and their physicians need goals to achieve and maintain adequate LDL-cholesterol levels
    • 70 mg/dL – ASCVD patients and very high-risk ASCVD patients
    • 100 mg/dL – FH patients
  • For the first time ever, the recommendations encouraged physicians to consider the cost-effectiveness of drug treatment options, specifically PCSK9is low cost-effectiveness was referenced

Compelling Case for Oral Add-On LDL-C Lowering Drugs.  The Lipid Management Team applauds the new guidelines, and the important role they will play in helping patients and physicians better manage LDL-cholesterol levels.  We believe the new guidelines, including the reference to cost-effectiveness, focus even more attention on bempedoic acid and the bempedoic acid / ezetimibe combination pill as preferred once-daily pills to complement statins – and long before specialty PCSK9i medicines.  We believe the guidelines also reinforce the large number of people who need additional drugs to help lower their LDL-cholesterol.  After analyzing the updated guidelines, we’ve confirmed that the U.S. market after statins includes 18.3 million patients, as outlined below:

U.S. Patient Population

Source: ZS Associates primary and secondary research, Sep-Oct 2018. Primary research N = 350 healthcare practitioners