Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Angina medication could save patients with heart failure

From the Toronto Star:
A $16.50-a-week drug used to treat angina has been shown in a European trial to be an effective treatment for heart failure and could save the lives of thousands of Canadians who suffer from the disease.

Researchers, who presented their findings Sunday at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Stockholm, estimate the drug, ivabradine, could save 5,000 to 8,000 lives annually in the U.K. About 700,000 people, or one per cent of the population there, have the disease. About 400,000 Canadians suffer from heart failure.

The study was also published in the respected British medical journal the Lancet.

“It’s a very large trial, which is hugely positive and will make a big difference to the way people with heart failure are treated,” said Martin Cowie, a cardiologist at London’s Royal Brompton Hospital who led the U.K. arm of the study.

Ivabradine is already licensed in Europe to treat angina and can now be prescribed off-label to treat heart failure. In the U.K., the cost of treatment with ivabradine is the equivalent of about $16.50 per patient per week. ...more

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