A cheap pill could save lives of thousands who suffer from a common heart condition is set to permitted for NHS use. The inexpensive pill called ivabradine also known as Procoralan, slows heart rate, improves heart’s pumping ability and reduces deaths by at least seventeen percent.
In earlier studies, heart specialists estimated that prescribing ivabradine could save up to ten thousand lives a year. Ivabradine, also known as Procoralan, is already taken by more than twenty thousand angina patients. The drug was licensed in by European safety regulators for heart failure. Ivabradine lowers heart beats without reducing blood pressure.
More than seven hundred thousand people over the age if forty-five live with heart failure only in UK, which occurs when damage to the heart leaves it too weak to pump blood efficiently round the body. Around one hundred-thousand people a year are thought to die from heart failure.
Symptoms of heart failure may include fatigue, breathlessness, increased heart rate and swollen ankles, and it can lead to serious complications. Two years trial of ivabradine shown that it reduced hospitalization by twenty-six percent, cut in death from heart failure by thirty-nine percent and seventeen percent reduction in the risk of dying from any cause.
A council member of the Primary Care Cardiovascular Society, Dr Terry McCormack, explained it would benefit many patients who cannot take beta blockers, standard drugs used to reduce heart rate. Ivabradine lowers heart beats to around sixty per minute without reducing blood pressure. NHS drug rationing body the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) says the drug is affordable.
In clinical trials ivabradine has been shown to have a beneficial effect in reducing mortality and improving quality of life in people with some types of chronic heart failure, stated Prof Carole Longson, NICE Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director.