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29 April 2016 08:06
A new heart failure drug has gained approval
A new drug that could potentially transform the lives of people enduring heart failure has been approved.
The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said it has now decided to recommend the drug sacubitril valsartan for certain NHS patients.
This means that as many as 100,000 people across the country might benefit.
Those with heart failure could potentially manage their symptoms more effectively by making use of the drug. These symptoms can include shortness of breath, as well as swelling of the feet, stomach and lower back, and fatigue.
More than half a million Britons are impacted by heart failure, with the heart muscle unable to pump enough blood that can meet the needs of the body.
Having a heart condition should not stop people enjoying holidays in the future.
Tailored travel insurance is available to these people, offering peace of mind when they go abroad.
When it comes to the new drug, Nice said as many as 30,000 fewer hospital admissions in England could be seen thanks to its use. Deaths might also be prevented, it indicated.
Manufactured by Novartis, the sacubitril valsartan product represents the first of a new kind of drug.
It helps to widen blood vessels and increases blood flow. Blood pressure can also be reduced, removing some strain from the heart.
Professor Carole Longson, who is the director of Nice's Health Technology Evaluation Centre, said: " We are pleased to be able to recommend this innovative new treatment for those people with a severely reduced ejection fraction (when a heart is only able to pump a reduced amount of oxygenated blood around the body) and whose symptoms can mean they are almost constantly bed-bound."
The expert added: "This recommendation will help ease the symptoms of very ill people, improve their quality of life and help them to take part in normal daily activities. It should also reduce their need for hospital treatment."
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