Recent trial results revealed the fact that a pill for chest pains which costs around £10 per week, has the potential of saving the lives of tens of thousands of people who suffer of heart failure. The pill could also save NHS millions of pounds, as the hospital admissions could be reduced by 25 percent.
This is the largest test trial of its kind so far, and an expert involved in it, stated that the evidence is extremely important. He considers it one of the most significant breakthroughs of the past decade. Heart failure causes 10,000 deaths per year in the United Kingdom alone, and the pill could have the potential of stopping them.
The pill, officially called Procoralan, or ivabradine, is already available in the United Kingdom. It was released in order to combat angina, and it seems that it is harmless, as it does not have any serious side effects. The European Society of Cardiology recently released the results of the test trial, in the Lancet medical journal. In the article it is mentioned that ivabradine could be the answer tens of thousands of people who suffer from moderate to severe heart failure have been waiting for.
In the two years of the test trial, drug managed to reduce the patient’s risk of dying from heart failure by 26 percent. The drug also managed to prevent people from being admitted in the hospital, as it stopped the aggravation of the symptoms. There are more than 700,000 people over 45 who are in the danger of developing heart failure. Heart failure occurs when the heart is too weak to pump the blood throughout the entire body. Usually, this happens in time, and it occurs when the heart is too damaged, for various reasons.
Loss of lives and money
According to the medical files, more than 68,000 new cases appear each year. The illness can cause all sorts of undesirable effects, such as shortness of breath, swollen ankles, increase heart rate, fatigue, and others as well. If the condition is left untreated, it could lead to very dangerous complications. Each year, 40 percent of the people who suffer from heart failure die. NHS has to pay around £625m per year, in order to hospitalize the people who suffer from heart failure.
More than 6,500 patients from 37 different countries were involved in the study. They were split into two groups: the control group, which received the standard treatment, and the group which received ivabradine. According to Karl Swedberg from Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Goteborg, Sweden, the leader of the study, ivabradine is much better than the other treatment methods such as the beta blockers, because it can lower the number of heart beats per minute without lowering the blood pressure.
Researchers believe that the treatment could be extremely useful, as it might save up to 10,000 deaths per year, worldwide. However, more tests on the drug are required, in order for the researchers to know everything about it, such as side effects and benefits.