European regulators back heart drug

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A drug that could benefit people with heart failure has been approved by European regulators.

New data on Procoralan (ivabradine) suggests it cuts death rates and the need for a patient to be hospitalised for heart failure, which affects about 900,000 people in the UK.

The drug has been approved by European regulators but has yet to be assessed for widespread use on the NHS. It costs less than £10 a week and is already prescribed for patients in the UK with angina.

Data published yesterday suggests Procoralan can reduce the risk of death from heart failure by 39 per cent, the risk of death from all types of cardiovascular disease by 17 per cent and the risk of death from all causes by 17 per cent.

In addition, the drug, which slows down the heart rate, was found to cut the risk of heart failure patients requiring hospitalisation by 30 per cent.

Professor Martin Cowie, consultant cardiologist and specialist in heart failure at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, 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.”