Heart attack

My Heart Attack

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Thursday, March 08, 2012

New Heart Drug Procoralan Given European Approval

A drug that could benefit people with heart failure has been approved by European regulators. New data on Procoralan (ivabradine) suggests it cuts death rates and the need for a patient to be hospitalised for heart failure, which affects about 900,000 people in the UK.
The drug has been approved by European regulators but has yet to be assessed for widespread use on the NHS.

It costs less than £10 a week and is already prescribed for patients in the UK with angina.

Data published today suggests Procoralan can reduce the risk of death from heart failure by 39%, the risk of death from all types of cardiovascular disease by 17% and the risk of death from all causes by 17%.

In addition, the drug, which slows down the heart rate, was found to cut the risk of heart failure patients requiring hospitalisation by 30%.

The study involved 6,505 people in 37 countries, including the UK.

Heart failure occurs when the organ becomes too weak to pump blood efficiently round the body, leading to fatigue, breathlessness, a higher heart rate and other problems.

Professor Martin Cowie, consultant cardiologist and specialist in heart failure at the Royal Brompton Hospital, and UK lead investigator for the study, said: "Heart failure is a very common problem, affecting approximately 1% of the population.

"The decision to approve this new indication for ivabradine is great news for both doctors and patients, and is a significant step forward in the management of heart failure.

"While Ace inhibitors and beta-blockers remain very important in the treatment of this condition, the results of the trial demonstrate the value that a reduction in heart rate with ivabradine can bring both in terms of improving symptoms and preventing disease progression, but also in helping patients return to normal daily activities and increasing their enjoyment of life."

Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: "There are already several medicines available in the UK for treating heart failure, but some people's condition and symptoms remain uncontrolled.

"Knowing doctors have another option to offer those patients whose condition is particularly difficult to treat is really positive news.

"Patients whose heart failure symptoms are already well controlled with their current treatment are unlikely to have their medication changed because of this new drug, but for many it could improve their quality of life." 

Press Association, quoted from Guardian website

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