FDA approves highly-anticipated cholesterol drug amid questions of cost, long-term benefit

Markets Associated Press

The Food and Drug Administration says it has approved a breakthrough drug that lowers bad cholesterol more than older medicines that have been prescribed for decades.

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The drug from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. offers an important new option for patients at high risk of heart disease. But experts have questions about the price and long-term benefits of the medication.

Praluent is the first in an experimental class of biotech medications that use a novel approach to lower bad, or LDL, cholesterol, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. The new drugs are considered the first major advance in the field since the introduction of statin drugs more than 20 years ago.

Analysts expect the new injectable drugs to generate billions in sales for Sanofi and other drugmakers.