Your Doctor Prescribed a Medicine, But Will You Get It?

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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Accessing PCSK9 Inhibitors: An Ongoing Bottleneck for Patients and Their Doctors

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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PCSK9 Inhibitors: Why Are They Under-Prescribed?

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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Caution: Economists, Not Doctors Might be Prescribing Your Medicine

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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PCSK9 Inhibitors, A Historic Change in Cardiovascular Care

by Seth J. Baum, MD, FACC, FACPM, FAHA, FNLA Every generation or so, each medical discipline hopes to experience a revolution of monumental proportions. Statins, released in the 1980s, were the last cholesterol modifying medications that dramatically altered our ability to decrease heart attacks and strokes. Now we have the PCSK9 inhibitors. With them we…

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