Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ivabradine, the lifesaving £1.40 heart pill, gets European approval

New data on ivabradine suggested it could cut death rates by up to 39 per cent, while experts said it could prevent between 5,000 and 10,000 deaths a year. The drug was also found to reduce the need for patients to be treated in hospital for heart failure, which affects about 900,000 people in Britain, by 30 per cent. The drug has been approved by European regulators but has yet to be assessed for widespread use on the NHS. It costs £1.40 a day and is already prescribed for patients in this country with angina. Data published today suggested ivabradine, also known as Procoralan, could reduce the risk of death from heart failure by 39 per cent. It could reduce the risk of death from all types of cardiovascular disease by 17 per cent and the risk of death from all causes by 17 per cent. In addition, the drug, which slows down the heart rate, was found to cut the risk of heart failure patients requiring treatment by 30 per cent. The study involved 6,505 people in 37 countries, including Britain.

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