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They sounded like three deadly strikes.

The patient had a dangerously high level of LDL cholesterol, a high risk for heart disease and an intolerance for the most common cholesterol-fighting medication. Dr. William Averill, a Torrance cardiologist, thought he had a solution: Praluent, a cholesterol-lowering drug from pharmaceutical companies Regeneron and Sanofi that had just been approved by the FDA as a treatment for people who didn’t benefit from the standard cholesterol treatment.

The only problem? The drug’s $14,600-a-year sticker-shocker price — 140 times more expensive than generic statins that typically cost about $100 a year.

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