The patient journey with proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitors in community practice

Corey K. Bradley, Peter Shrader, Robert J. Sanchez, Eric D Peterson, Ann Marie Navar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Trials have demonstrated that proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors are effective as an adjunct to statin therapy, but access and cost issues have limited their use in community practice. Objective: The aim of the study was to better understand patients’ experiences when trying to obtain, fill, and use PCSK9 inhibitor therapy in community practice. Methods: We conducted a patient survey to evaluate patient experiences with PCSK9 inhibitors including medication initiation, indication for treatment, insurance approval status, medication persistence, and reason for discontinuation. The survey was emailed to 4740 adults who used a patient access support program. Results: Overall, 1327 of 4740 adults completed the survey (28.0% response rate). Of those, 75.0% were aged >60 years, 52.8% were male, and 92.4% were White. At the time of PCSK9 inhibitor prescription, 70.2% were not on a statin (with 84.4% of those not on a statin reporting statin intolerance). Overall, 74.6% of patients found the drug approval process to be “somewhat” or “very” burdensome. Among n = 1216 patients who initiated treatment, 33.7% discontinued by the time of the survey, with 50.0% taking the drug for 1 to 6 months. Patient out-of-pocket costs were the leading reported reason for discontinuation. Conclusions: Most PCSK9 inhibitor users in community practice were not on a statin, presumably because of statin intolerance. The drug approval process and costs continue to be strong reasons for lower initiation of PCSK9 agents, as well as higher discontinuation rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-734
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Lipidology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • PCSK9 inhibitor
  • Prevention
  • Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9
  • Utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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