The use of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)-lowering medications has led to a significant reduction of cardiovascular risk in both primary and secondary prevention. Statin therapy, one of the cornerstones for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD), has been demonstrated to be effective in lowering LDL-C levels and in reducing the risk for CVD and is generally well-tolerated. However, compliance with statins remains suboptimal. One of the main reasons is limitations by adverse events, notably myopathies, which can lead to non-compliance with the prescribed statin regimen. Reducing the burden of elevated LDL-C levels is critical in patients with CVD as well as in patients with very high baseline levels of LDL-C (e.g. patients with familial hypercholesterolaemia), as statin therapy is insufficient for optimally reducing LDL-C below target values. In this review, we discuss alternative treatment options after maximally tolerated doses of statin therapy, including ezetimibe, proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors, and cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitors. Difficult-to-treat patients may benefit from combination therapy with ezetimibe or a PCSK9 inhibitor (evolocumab or alirocumab, which are now available). Updates of treatment guidelines are needed to guide the management of patients who will best benefit from these new treatments.