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Single-Pill Combinations Diovan HCT and Exforge Approved in US as First-Line Treatments for High Blood Pressure
Date:8/3/2008

- Approvals consistent with current US treatment guidelines to start

appropriate patients on combination therapies - Up to 80% of patients may need multiple medications to help them reach

blood pressure goals - Single-pill combinations offer effective, convenient medications which

could help patients reach treatment goals faster - Diovan HCT and Exforge approvals may benefit patients who are likely to

need multiple medications to achieve blood pressure goals - High blood pressure is one of the most important but treatable risk factors for cardiovascular disease - the world's leading cause of death

EAST HANOVER, N.J., Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two single-pill combination medications, Diovan HCT(R) (valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide) and Exforge(R) (amlodipine and valsartan), as initial or 'first-line' therapies in patients likely to need multiple drugs to achieve their blood pressure goals.

The FDA approval of Diovan HCT and Exforge for first-line use reinforces current US guideline recommendations to start appropriate patients on combination therapy. Research suggests that up to 80% of patients may need multiple medications to help them reach blood pressure goals.

"These approvals provide flexibility and confidence to physicians to use well-proven and well-accepted therapies as first-line treatment," said Kenneth Jamerson, MD, Professor of Medicine, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Michigan Healthcare System. "Patients may also benefit by getting their blood pressure effectively and quickly under control with a single pill and fewer co-pays."

With the approvals, healthcare professionals will have simplified treatment strategies to help control high blood pressure with Diovan HCT and Exforge. In patients who are likely to need multiple drugs to achieve blood pressure goals, using
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SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
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