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Heart failure drug gets initial go-ahead

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A drug that can reduce the need for heart failure patients to be hospitalised by 30% has been given the green light by European regulators.

Procoralan (ivabradine) is already prescribed for patients in the UK with angina, and costs less than £10 a week.

A study carried out at the Royal Brompton Hospital found it can slash the risk of death from heart failure by 39%, the risk of death from all types of cardiovascular disease by 17% and the risk of death from all causes by 17%. The drug can cut the risk of heart failure patients requiring hospitalisation by 30%.

Professor Martin Cowie, consultant cardiologist and specialist in heart failure at the Royal Brompton Hospital, and UK lead investigator for the study, said: “The decision to approve this new indication for ivabradine is great news for both doctors and patients, and is a significant step forward in the management of heart failure.”

Around 900,000 people in the UK suffer from heart failure every year.

Procoralan has been approved by European regulators but has yet to be assessed for widespread use on the NHS.

The study involved 6,505 people in 37 countries, including the UK.

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