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AstraZeneca’s dapagliflozin recommended by NICE

Treatment concerns up to 150,000 patients in England with chronic heart failure.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued final draft guidance recommending AstraZeneca’s dapagliflozin. The therapy, also known as Forxiga, is as an option among adults with symptomatic chronic heart failure with mildly reduced or preserved ejection fraction.

Currently, there are no disease-modifying treatments for this specific condition and, thus, dapagliflozin becomes the first NICE-recommended treatment for this population.

Meanwhile, evidence from a clinical trial demonstrated that adding dapagliflozin to standard care with diuretics effectively decreases the combined risk of dying from cardiovascular causes or the need to attend hospital with heart failure. This was compared during the study with a placebo in addition to standard care.

Helen Knight, director of medicines evaluation at NICE, reflected: “Until now there have been no treatments available to delay or slow the progression of this type of heart failure.

“The committee heard from patient and clinical experts who described how the lack of research and available treatments in this area led to a lack of hope and support that impacts the quality of life and mental health of people with the condition.”

She also reinforced NICE’s commitment to improving patient care and treatment access: “Today’s draft guidance means that for the first time, there is an effective treatment available on the NHS for people with this type of heart failure. Not only does dapagliflozin have the potential to help them live well for longer, but it could also save the NHS money and free up space by reducing their risk of having to go to the hospital for unplanned emergency treatment.”

Over 550,000 people in England have heart failure, with half having preserved or mildly reduced ejection fraction. Up to 150,000 of these individuals would be eligible for treatment with dapagliflozin.