Helping more heart attack patients benefit from life-saving drug | Inquirer Business

Helping more heart attack patients benefit from life-saving drug

/ 12:04 AM May 09, 2015

Astrazeneca Philippines introduces an exciting addition to its patient support program (PSP) to help more Filipino patients benefit from ticagrelor, an innovative medicine that can help save the lives of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

ACS is an umbrella term for conditions that result from insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle, ranging from unstable angina (continuing chest pain that threatens heart attack) to heart attack.

Different treatment strategies have been developed for heart attack patients. However, the risk of death due to a heart attack remains high: nearly one in six patients may die within the first year of their heart attack.


Recent research shows that one in five patients will have a further heart attack, suffer a stroke, or die due to these cardiovascular conditions in the subsequent three years following a heart attack. This holds true even for postheart attack patients who had no cardiovascular event after 12 months.


Patient support program

Through its PSP, AstraZeneca Philippines will provide local doctors with PSP cards for distribution to patients diagnosed with ACS and prescribed with ticareglor. Patients can present their PSP card at any participating drugstore to avail themselves of a 40-percent discount on ticareglor. PSP cardholders may purchase a maximum of 120 ticareglor tablets every two calendar months. The PSP card is valid for 12 months after first use.

Developed by research-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, ticagrelor belongs to a new class of oral antiplatelet treatment for ACS that works by preventing the formation of new blood clots and maintaining blood flow in the body to help reduce a patient’s risk of suffering another (potentially fatal) heart attack.

“The landmark Plato study showed that, compared to the standard antiplatelet drug clopidogrel, an additional one patient life is saved for every 100 patients treated with ticareglor,” said Dr Emmanuel Arca, AstraZeneca Philippines associate medical director.

FDA-approved drug

The Plato study is a head-to-head trial that compared ticagrelor and clopidogrel, both in combination with aspirin, involving more than 18,000 ACS patients worldwide. It showed that ticagrelor is superior to clopidogrel in reducing the risk of heart attack and cardiovascular death in patients with ACS.


Based on the results of the landmark study, the US Food and Drug Administration approved ticagrelor in 2011 for use in reducing the risk of heart attack and cardiovascular death in adult patients with ACS. Ticagrelor was subsequently also approved in the Philippines for the same indications in 2012.

“Through our PSP, we aim to help more Filipino patients with ACS start and stay on ticagrelor, and benefit from the drug’s proven life-saving benefits,” said Lotis Ramin, AstraZeneca Philippines marketing director.

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Ticagrelor is a prescription medication and should only be used upon the advice of a doctor.

TAGS: health and wellness, Heart Attack

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