Cholesterol drug wins approval in Scotland

GPs in Scotland now have a wider choice of treatments for cholesterol disorders following the acceptance of the drug Tredaptive by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).

The SMC approved the combination therapy, containing nicotinic acid and laropiprant, for restricted use in Scotland.

GPs can prescribe the drug for the treatment of cholesterol disorders dyslipidaemia, mixed dyslipidaemia, and hypercholesterolaemia in patients in whom statins are considered inappropriate or not tolerated.

Tredaptive is a combination of extended release nicotinic acid and an anti-flushing component, laropiprant.

The SMC had not approved the use of nicotinic acid, in the form of Niaspan, on three previous submissions. The approval of Tredaptive is the first nicotinic acid formulation to be accepted by the consortium.

In trials, the drug combination lowered LDL cholesterol by 18% and triglycerides by 26%, while raising HDL cholesterol by 20% (placebo adjusted).

It also been shown to reduce flushing versus extended release nicotinic acid alone during the initiation phase.

Nicotinic acid/laropiprant has been available in the UK since August 2009.

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