Imported drug offers therapeutic option for high cholesterol

Writer: Zhang Yu  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2022-08-04

Inclisiran, a medication for hyperlipidemia or high cholesterol treatment, has been introduced by the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital (HKU-SZH) through the “Hong Kong and Macao Medicine and Equipment Connect” policy, offering a new therapeutic option to patients with cardiovascular diseases, the hospital said yesterday.

As of yesterday, three patients, including a 48-year-old woman surnamed Yu, had received Inclisiran injections at the hospital.

Yu suffers from diabetes and high cholesterol. After taking lipid-lowering drugs for a long time, she developed muscle pain and increased liver enzymes. She received her first Inclisiran injection at HKU-SZH on Monday.

“I heard that this lipid-lowering drug was available in Hong Kong before, and I had hoped that Shenzhen hospitals can introduce it. It really offers great convenience now that we can have it,” Yu said.

According to Yiu Kai-hang, a cardiologist from HKU-SZH, Inclisiran is the first medication introduced by the hospital’s cardiovascular medicine division under the imported medicine and equipment policy. It has been clinically used for some time in countries in Europe and North America, as well as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Inclisiran is the first small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapy in the cardiovascular field to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels.

After a preliminary injection and another injection in three months, patients only need to inject twice a year to obtain a long-term lipid-reduction effect, according to HKU-SZH.

At present, statins are the main lipid-lowering medications on the Chinese mainland. Inclisiran can be used to treat patients with primary hypercholesterolemia including heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and patients who are statin-intolerant.