Saturday, 23 January 2016

A Pill that helps keep heart patients alive to be made available to people at a cost of £3 a day

 Novartis headquarters in Basel. Photo: Wikipedia.

 A Pill that helps keep heart patients alive is set to be made available to more than half a million Britons.
 According to UK Daily Mail, Cardiologists say the pill sacubitrill valsartan which costs £3 a day is the biggest step forward in their field in 15 years.

 The drug will be made available to private patients this week and is expected to be approved for NHS use in May.

 The report says a global study of 8,442 patients who took the drug, including 1000 at British hospitals, found it reduced death rates by 20 percent when compared with enalapril, the current 'gold standard' heart failure treatment.

 The trial led by Glasgow University was so successful that scientists ended it early for other patients to have access to the drug more quickly.

 The Department for Health added it to the Early Access to Medicines scheme, which made it available to some heart failure victims even before it receieved a safety licence.

 The twice-daily pill is made by Swiss drugs giant Novatis, which is to provide it under the trade name Entresto.

The drug works by altering hormone levels to make blood vessels dilate, taking pressure off the heart. Heart failure is caused by the organ failing to pump blood properly around the body,often after a heart attack.

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