top story

Heart medicine found to have impressive results

  • 0

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A new study of 8,000 patients with chronic heart failure finds promise in a new class of drugs that may eventually help those here on the Suncoast who need it most.

In the largest heart failure study ever done, drug company Novartis reveals that its investigational heart failure medicine yields better results for patients with chronic heart failure than traditional medication.

According to the American Heart Association, heart failure is one of the most common reasons for hospital admissions among those 65 years and older. “Here in Sarasota County, one in ten patients over the age of sixty five have been diagnosed with heart failure,” says Dr. Daniel Cooper with Cooper Concierge.

Reasons include “previous heart attacks that weaken the heart muscle, and also a muscle disease of the heart, called cardiomyopathy.”

There are medications to expand blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily. That makes the heart work easier or more efficiently. “Enalypril is an ACE inhibitor that has been the gold standard to treat patients with heart failure for the past twenty years.”

Now a new study finds a drug combination of angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibition with LCZ696 was superior to ace inhibition alone in reducing risks of death and hospitalization for heart failure.

Heart patient Bob Gault says the science behind this is wonderful. “I'm hoping that this new drug, although I don't have that condition, may someday prevent heart failure and help people not even have to go through that difficulty.”

The study of 8,000 patients stands to help many more. “That medical science is bringing hope to so many millions of people who suffer from heart failure.”

The study is significant for three main reasons, says Dr. Cooper. “One, it reduced the number of patients dying by 16%. It also decreased the number of admissions to the hospital by 20%. And in addition to that, it significantly improved their quality of life.”

Dr. Cooper says the U.S. health care system spends close to $40 billion a year on patients with heart failure. With a million admissions a year, if we can cut the re-admissions by 20%, we can reduce by 200,000 admissions. This can potentially save $8 billion a year in the health care system.