Modern medicines are making a major contribution to the reported fall in the number of people dying from heart disease in the UK, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) said today.
A study published in the European Heart Journal has found that the number of Britons dying from heart disease has fallen by a third over the past ten years. The researchers add that the fall in death rates may be due to the increased number of new treatments available, although they did find that patients' chances of surviving a heart attack can often depend on where they live.
"Modern medicines have undoubtedly made a major contribution to these extremely encouraging results," said Dr Trevor Jones, Director General of the ABPI. "In particular, the use of statins, as recommended by the Government to reduce the onset of heart problems, has had a beneficial effect."
A recent survey by the ABPI showed that there were well over 80 potential new medicines in development to treat various cardiovascular conditions as part of the UK-based industry's £9 million-a-day research and development programme.
"It is this kind of investment that leads to the development of new medicines and, ultimately, to the kind of benefit to patients that the European Heart Journal's figures indicate," said Dr Jones.
"Nevertheless, it is of concern that the study shows that the patient's chance of surviving a heart attack too often depends on where they live. There is still much that needs to be done to eliminate the culture of postcode prescribing in the UK."
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410