Merck and Partners Real-world Evidence Research Shows Statins Fail to Lower LDL-C Threshold

May 11, 2019 | Cardiovascular Disease, Real World Evidence, Statin Prescription

Patrick Campbell of MD Magazine reports Merck, Regenstrief Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine, and the University of North Carolina Chappell Hill, found 33.7% of statin patients examined failed to reach therapeutic levels of LDL-C which should help prevent more than 1000 cardiovascular disease events.

The investigators conducted this study after noting previous studies suggesting only 20% to 64% of patients taking statins achieve a reasonably low LDL-C threshold. This time, the team involving Merck sought to discover how many patients in reality achieved the therapeutic thresholds and the impact that can influence in avoiding cardiovascular events. They conducted the retrospective, longitudinal cohort study by systematically studying electronic health record data from the Indiana Network for Patient Care (INPC).

The team analyzed 89,267 patients meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria. The investigators observed that 33.7% did not achieve the LDL-C threshold of less than 100mg per dl after 6 to 18 months. Moreover, they fond that 58% of the high-risk subgroup failed to meet a more stringent LDL-C threshold of less than 70 mg per dl.  24% of the full population and 51% of the high-risk subgroup did not meet their respective thresholds.

Investigator Robert Boggs, PhD, director of outcomes research, Center for Observational and Real-world Evidence (CORE) at Merck is quoted “this study demonstrates not only the value of helping patients adhere to their statin therapy, but, in some cases, the need for additional treatments to get their LDL-Cholesterol down to reasonable thresholds.”  And Titus Schleyer, DMD, PhD, research scientist at Regenstrief Institute noted “the Indiana Network for Patient Care allows us to gather health data from large numbers of people on an ongoing basis. While the information is a byproduct of going to the doctor, it is tremendously useful for research.”

The study title “Quantifying unmet need in statin-treated hyperlipidemia patients and the potential benefit of further LDL-C reduction through an EHR-based, retrospective cohort study,” was published in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy.

Lead Research/Investigator

Robert Boggs, PhD, director of outcomes research, Center for Observational and Real-world Evidence (CORE) at Merck

Titus Schleyer, DMD, PhD, research scientist at Regenstrief Institute

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