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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

single-pill combination medications first-line will help eliminate the added steps of starting on a single medication, increasing the dose and then adding on another medication.

The multiple steps often used in clinical practice may delay the time it takes to reach blood pressure goals, which may create patient frustration and a sense of failure. In addition, the first-line use of single-pill combination medications in patients who are likely to need multiple treatments to reach goal may reduce their pill burden and co-pays.

High blood pressure affects approximately 73 million adult Americans, and one in four adults worldwide. It is one of the most important, but treatable, risk factors for cardiovascular disease -- the world's leading cause of death.

While it is easy to measure and can be successfully managed, nearly 40% of people treated for high blood pressure do not have the condition under control, underscoring the critical need for more effective treatment regimens. If left untreated, patients with high blood pressure are at risk of cardiovascular events, such as stroke, heart attack and heart failure, as well as kidney failure and eye problems. Diovan HCT and Exforge are approved to treat high blood pressure and are not approved to treat or prevent stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure or eye problems.

"We are very pleased that the FDA recognizes the therapeutic value and the need of some patients to start therapy with a single-pill combination," said Trevor Mundel, MD, Head of Global Development Functions at Novartis Pharma AG. "These approvals demonstrate our confidence in combination medications for this therapeutic category, while reinforcing the Novartis commitment to provide physicians with well-researched and effective treatments for high blood pressure."

Diovan HCT combines in one tablet Diovan (valsartan), the world's number one selling branded high blood pressure medication, and hydrochlorothiazide,
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SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
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