By Dr. Ted Tyberg
In a study announced yesterday at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting, taking place this year in Washington, DC, a drug projected to be a sure fire hit, turned out to be a total miss. The drug, evacetrapib lowered LDL ( bad ) cholesterol 37% and doubled HDL ( good ) cholesterol. However, in this group of 12,000 patients, there was no benefit in the number of heart attacks, strokes, or cardiac deaths.
It is not clear why the drug did not work. Other drugs of this class had failed previously, also for unclear reasons. Niacin, which also raises good cholesterol and lowers the bad one has also shown no benefit in the most recent trials.
What are the take away lessons? Firstly, artificially raising good cholesterol does not work. Diet and exercise to raise HDL does work. Secondly, even when a drug looks good on paper, there is no guarantee that it will be beneficial. That’s what clinical trials are for.Leave a reply →