Chronic heart failure drug gets NICE OK

 Servier’s Procoralan (ivabradine) has been recommended by NICE in draft guidance as a treatment option for people with chronic heart failure.

The treatment has been recommended in combination with standard therapy or when beta-blocker therapy is contraindicated or not tolerated, after impressing in clinical trials.

Professor Carole Longson, NICE Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director, said Procoralan has demonstrated a “beneficial effect in reducing mortality and improving quality of life”.

The draft guidance also recommends that standard therapies used routinely for managing the condition should be optimised before treatment begins with Procoralan and after a stabilisation period of four weeks.

“The (Appraisal) Committee was mindful that there is robust evidence for the effectiveness of ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers and aldosterone antagonists that are used routinely in managing heart failure,” said Professor Longson. “They concluded that ivabradine should be initiated only after optimal treatment with these drugs has been achieved when patients are still symptomatic after receiving optimised initial therapies, or when beta-blockers are contraindicated as specified in the marketing authorisation or not tolerated by the patients.”

It is estimated that chronic heart failure affects about 900,000 people in the UK – a figure that continues to rise due to an ageing population and improved prognosis.