- New guidance from the AHA on how doctors should go about facilitating a reduction in their patients' risk of heart attack and stroke "marks the biggest shift in cardiovascular-disease prevention in 30 years," Johanna Bennett writes.
- In short, the new guidelines could dramatically increase the number of patients eligible for statin therapy.
- This is potentially big news for AstraZeneca (AZN +0.6%) as it's "the only drug maker that still has patent protection on a statin." Crestor is protected until 2016.
- Count Amgen (AMGN -0.3%) and Regeneron (REGN -1.8%) among those who may suffer from the new regime. The FDA has indicated that the companies can gain approval for their PCSK-9 inhibitors without proving they prevent heart attacks and although this means faster approval, it could also limit their uptake among physicians, according to some commentators.
- Also affected by the news: Merck (MRK +0.2%) (think Zetia, Vytorin).
Updated statin guidelines give AstraZeneca the upper hand: Barron's
Nov 27 2013, 10:54 ET