Patients with high cholesterol are close to having a new class of drugs to help lower their cholesterol levels. So called PCSK9 inhibitors work in a completely different way than statins, the most popular class of cholesterol-lowering drugs, allowing them to be used in conjunction with the current standard of care in patients that haven't gotten to their cholesterol goal.

Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) is in the lead with evolocumab, but Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) and Sanofi (NYSE:SNY), which are jointly developing alirocumab, aren't too far behind. Beyond those two, quite a few drugmakers -- Roche, Pfizer, Novartis, and others -- are taking their own shot at developing PCSK9 inhibitors.

In the video that follows, Max Macaluso, the Fool's health-care bureau chief, and Fool contributor Brian Orelli discuss why the class of PCSK9 inhibitors is worth keeping an eye on and potential pitfalls the companies may face.

Brian OrelliMax Macaluso, and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.