PASADENA, Calif., March 15, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The FH Foundation, a patient-centered non-profit dedicated to research, advocacy, and education of all forms of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), today announced its collaboration with Express Scripts, a leading pharmacy benefit manager, to improve pharmacy coverage for patients with FH, an inherited genetic disorder that causes high LDL-cholesterol from birth. With a more comprehensive set of diagnostic criteria, a broader group of patients will have access to cutting-edge PCSK9 inhibitor treatment, as appropriate.
"The FH Foundation applauds Express Scripts for its leadership, working with the FH Foundation to ensure that high-risk FH patients, for whom these novel therapies were approved, will have access to the care their healthcare provider has recommended," said Katherine Wilemon, Founder and CEO of the Foundation. "Collaboration and open communication among stakeholders in the fragmented US healthcare system are vital to informing and delivering optimum care and improving health of the American public."
More than 1.3 million Americans, or 1 in 250 people, suffer from FH, a genetic disorder that can significantly increase the risk for early heart disease and even death. Often undistinguished from other causes of high cholesterol, FH is under-diagnosed and undertreated. However, with early diagnosis and optimal treatment, the risk for heart disease can be lowered to almost that of the general population.
With these new, more inclusive criteria put into practice by Express Scripts last month, patients with an untreated LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) equal to or greater than 190 mg/dL whose LDL-cholesterol is still over 70 mg/dL on maximally tolerated statins plus Zetia will qualify for prior authorization for a prescribed PCSK9 inhibitor. Other diagnostic criteria to better define the condition of FH were also added.
"We put medicine within reach by making prescription drugs more affordable and accessible," said Dr. Steve Miller, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Express Scripts. "Through novel partnerships with organizations like the FH Foundation, we continually work to ensure the right patient gets the right medicine at the right time. Our Cholesterol Care Value Program and our specialist pharmacists who have deep knowledge of FH, provide us unique capabilities to holistically care for people living with FH."
The FH Foundation's CASCADE FH™ Registry, the largest national registry of its kind to collect and analyze FH patient data, demonstrated that FH patients had a 5-7 times higher prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) than the age-matched general population. Among those in the Registry receiving treatment before PCSK9 inhibitors were available, only 25 percent achieved an LDL-C below 100mg/dL, and only 41 percent achieved a greater than, or equal to, 50 percent reduction of LDL-C, suggesting an unmet need for additional LDL-cholesterol lowering therapies for high-risk patients.
About the FH Foundation The FH Foundation is a 501(c)(3) patient-centered nonprofit organization dedicated to education, advocacy, and research of Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH). The mission of The FH Foundation is to raise awareness and save lives by increasing the rate of early diagnosis and encouraging proactive treatment. If left untreated, FH leads to aggressive and premature heart disease in women, men and children of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.