Procoralan gets NICE thumbs up

 NICE has confirmed its recommendation of Servier Laboratories’ Procoralan (ivabradine) for the treatment of chronic heart failure in final draft guidance.

The guidance states Procoralan should be taken in combination with standard therapy options or when beta-blockers are contraindicated or not tolerated – after a four week stabilisation period of standard therapy.

Professor Carole Longson, NICE Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director, said the treatment “has been shown to have a beneficial effect in reducing mortality and improving quality of life in people with some types of chronic heart failure.”

Heart failure affects around 900,000 people in the UK. The most common cause of heart failure is coronary artery disease. The aim of treatment is to improve life expectancy and quality of life and to avoid patients being admitted to hospital.

“The 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,” Professor Longson said.

“They concluded, therefore, that ivabradine could be considered a cost-effective use of NHS resources for treating chronic heart failure after optimal treatment with these drugs has been achieved and when patients are still symptomatic after receiving optimised initial therapies, or when beta-blockers are contraindicated or not tolerated by the patients.”

The recommendation means Procoralan can be supplied as an option for patients with systolic dysfunction, who are in sinus rhythm, whose heart rate is 75 beats per minute or more and who have a left ventricular ejection fraction of 35% or less.