Tens of thousands of NHS patients are set to benefit from a new treatment for heart failure following approval from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
The new treatment is called dapagliflozin and has been specifically made available for adults with symptomatic chronic heart failure with preserved or mildly reduced ejection fraction.
This essentially means that the left side of the heart doesn’t fill up with blood properly and thus can’t pump blood around the body effectively.
The standard care for this condition is a diuretic (or ‘water tablet’) and clinical trial data has shown that combining dapagliflozin with first-line treatment reduces the risk of dying and having to be admitted to hospital.
Dapagliflozin represents the first time NICE has recommended a treatment for this specific kind of heart failure.
NICE’s director of medicines evaluation, Helen Knight, commented: “We’re committed to bring the best care to people fast, while at the same time ensuring value for money for the taxpayer. Today’s draft guidance means that for the first time there is an effective treatment available on the NHS for people with this type of heart failure.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 hospital for unplanned emergency treatment.”
Over 550,000 people experience heart failure in England with approximately half of those suffering from preserved or mildly reduced ejection fraction – NICE estimates that up to 150,000 of these people with be eligible for the new treatment.