Seth J. Baum, MD In 2013 Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the CDC, judiciously proclaimed that “even one preventable death is one too many.” Just three years later we are mired in debates concerning cost effectiveness of innovative medicines. We argue about not only the price of drugs, but also the monetized value of a…

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by Seth J. Baum MD Recently, there have been several articles discussing the development, efficacy, cost and long-term impact of novel cholesterol lowering drugs – called PCSK9 inhibitors – new drugs that show the capacity to greatly reduce the levels of LDL, or “bad”, cholesterol in an individual’s bloodstream. Insurance providers have pushed back aggressively…

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by Seth J. Baum MD PCSK9 inhibitors are the most significant advance in the management of elevated cholesterol in the last 3 decades. These injectable medications are indisputably revolutionary: They provide intensive and predictable reduction of LDL cholesterol in even our most difficult-to-treat patients. So, you would think that insurance providers would embrace them. Not…

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Important research recently published in the American Heart Association’s journals illustrates that the cardiovascular disease burden and treatment patterns among patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) in the US remain poorly described. The study consisted of a cross-sectional analysis of 1295 adults with heterozygous FH enrolled in the FH Foundation’s CASCADE-FH Registry from 11 US lipid…

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by Seth J. Baum, MD A recent article by Caroline Humer and Ransdell Pierson for Reuters reported on the unexpectedly paltry number of prescriptions for PCSK9 inhibitors, the revolutionary cholesterol lowering drugs that were FDA approved in the summer of 2015. Insurance providers had viewed these costly medications as a potentially grave threat to their…

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by Seth J. Baum, MD All physicians and other health care practitioners (HCPs) recognize the insidious process that has undermined our ability to properly care for our patients. Patients don’t yet fully grasp this, but they are beginning to do so. Over the last two decades HCPs have been commoditized – all doctors are considered…

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by Seth J. Baum, MD It was not long ago when doctors were the stopping point for the proverbial “buck.” Doctors held a high position in society and their devotion to the medical profession was never questioned. Studying for ten-plus years following college was proof enough that doctors had their hearts and minds in the…

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by Seth J. Baum, MD Flying back from the FH Foundation’s third annual FH Summit I was suffused by assorted feelings and thoughts. I attend many meetings; yet, this one is unique. A conglomerate of stakeholders congregate to discuss past, present, and future issues about a disease that has only recently captured the hearts, minds,…

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by Seth J. Baum, MD It’s National Cholesterol Education Month and we have fittingly entered a new era in lipid management. We now know that elevated LDL cholesterol causes heart attacks and strokes. Studies of all types have proved this. The most persuasive proof comes from genetics, specifically Mendelian Randomization studies. Recently our increased genetic…

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