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1 in 5 heart-attack deaths could be prevented with new drug
Date:6/13/2011

Robert Storey, Professor of Cardiology at the University of Sheffield's Department of Cardiovascular Science, presented findings today that confirm one in five deaths in the year following a heart attack could be prevented if a new drug, ticagrelor, was used instead of the standard treatment, clopidogrel.

Professor Storey's latest findings were presented at the British Cardiovascular Society annual scientific conference in Manchester today (Monday 13 June 2011).

Professor Storey has led UK investigations of ticagrelor and was a member of the international committee that conducted the PLATO study, a trial of over 18 thousand patients in over 40 countries around the world. The results of the PLATO study were first presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress in 2009, showing that ticagrelor was more effective for heart attack patients than clopidogrel in reducing death and recurrent heart attack.

A new analysis of the PLATO study presented this year at the American College of Cardiology showed that ticagrelor is just as effective at reducing deaths in patients over the age of 75 as in younger patients. Professor Storey commented: "Our new findings really highlight the universal applicability of the treatment."

Ticagrelor was made available in the UK in December 2010 but has not yet been adopted across most of the UK due to cost concerns. Clopidogrel has a very low cost as it is available in generic forms, whereas ticagrelor is more expensive at around 55 per month. However, the excess drug cost of ticagrelor is offset to some extent by its greater effectiveness which reduces the need for heart operations.

Professor Storey commented: "Many people are dying avoidably in the year after having a heart attack due to delays introducing this new treatment. These new findings provide yet further evidence in support of making the drug available to patients in the UK. We're pleased that the Scottish Medicine Cons
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Contact: Amy Stone
a.f.stone@sheffield.ac.uk
44-114-222-1046
University of Sheffield
Source:Eurekalert

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