Pharmacological treatments, together with heart-healthy lifestyles, are the factors that contribute the most to improving the control of these pathologies
The pharmaceutical industry has 600 investigational drugs in the world in this area alone
For every euro invested in antihypertensive drugs, 1.9 euros are saved in direct healthcare costs
This Sunday is the European Day for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Risk
Diseases of the circulatory system remain the leading cause of death worldwide, with approximately 17.5 million people dying from these diseases each year. According to the latest data provided by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), in the first five months of 2020 23% of deaths in our country were due to some pathology related to this area, even ahead of those caused by Covid -19 in the year marked by the pandemic.
But while the numbers are still very worrying, there is reason for hope. Pharmacological treatments and preventive measures, such as heart-healthy lifestyles, are helping to gradually reduce these mortality rates and improving the control of these diseases.
Not even the coronavirus has been able to stop this commitment of the pharmaceutical industry to the investigation of new cardiovascular treatments, as shown by data from the Spanish Registry of Clinical Studies (REEC), coordinated by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (Aemps). Last year alone, 44 new clinical trials for heart disease were launched, making it the fifth most productive area.
In this sense, the research and development of new drugs for cardiovascular diseases is advancing in a triple direction: monoclonal antibodies with lipid-lowering action, enzyme inhibitors for the treatment of heart failure, and gene therapy aimed at reactivating the telomerase gene and regeneration of cardiomyocytes in patients who have suffered a myocardial infarction.
These lines of work are some of those that are being followed for the development of the almost 600 medications for the cardiovascular area that exist around the world. Not surprisingly, many have been those who have previously proven their value and have allowed cardiologists to change the course of many pathologies and the health system to register better health results and significant savings. In fact, a good part of the cardiovascular therapeutic arsenal are mature drugs – off-patent and with years of clinical experience – that represent a low cost for the National Health System and that continue to give the expected results.
The use of antihypertensive drugs, a cost-effective weapon
Thus, the main therapeutic option for these patients, in addition to correcting certain habits towards a healthy lifestyle, consists of the pharmacological treatment of high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia. The SHEP (Systolic Hypertension in the Elderly Program) study concludes that antihypertensive treatment for 4.5 years prevents one in every 2 admissions for heart failure, one in every 3 heart attacks (fatal and non-fatal) and one in every 4 events cardiovascular It is estimated that each month of active antihypertensive treatment is associated with an increase of approximately one day in life expectancy.
In addition, it is estimated that the use of antihypertensive drugs during the 1990s in the United States avoided at the beginning of this new century a direct healthcare cost of $ 16.5 billion for myocardial infarction and stroke, 70% of which correspond to costs hospitable. It has been calculated that for every euro invested in antihypertensive drugs, 1.9 euros (almost 200%) are saved in direct healthcare costs.
This Sunday, March 14, is celebrated, as every year in Europe, the Day for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Risk, with the aim of drawing attention to the importance of cardiovascular diseases in society and, above all, to insist on the ability of each person to influence the main risk factors involved in most of these diseases, which are smoking, increased cholesterol, hypertension, uncontrolled diabetes, obesity and sedentary lifestyle.