European regulators approve Amgen's breakthrough cholesterol drug Repatha

Markets Associated Press

Amgen Inc. says European regulators have approved its first-of-a-kind cholesterol drug that lowers levels of the artery-clogging substance more than older drugs that have been prescribed for decades.

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The highly-anticipated approval introduces a new option for patients at risk for heart disease. But questions remain about the drug's price and its ability to reduce heart attack and death in the long term.

The European Commission approved Repatha for patients with dangerously high cholesterol caused by an inherited condition. The injectable drug should be used by patients who cannot control their cholesterol with older statin drugs, or cannot tolerate them due to side effects.

Repatha is the first in a new class of medications that lower bad cholesterol more than statins, which have been the standard treatment for over 20 years.