Amarin’s Vazkepa accepted by SMC for patients with cardiovascular disease

Betsy Goodfellow | August 8, 2023 | News story | Research and Development Cardiology, Vazkepa, cardiovascular disease, pharmaceutical 

On 7 August 2023, the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) announced that they had accepted Amarin’s treatment for people with cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The SMC accepted restricted use of Amarin’s icosapent ethyl, known as Vazkepa, to reduce the risks of severe heart complications and strokes; the pills act as a secondary prevention method for patients with established CVD.

Despite current therapies already helping to reduce the risk of cardiovascular-related incidents, there are over 10,000 hospitalisations for heart attacks each year in Scotland – equal to one every 50 minutes. CVD is reportedly responsible for 18,000 deaths annually, making up 28% of the causes of death in the country.

Professor Adrian Brady, consultant cardiologist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, commented: “The acceptance of icosapent ethyl, an innovative active substance comprising a highly purified omega-3 fatty acid, will provide healthcare professionals in Scotland with an additional treatment option to be considered for eligible patients who are at high risk of a subsequent cardiovascular  event, such as a second heart attack or stroke.  This represents an important step forward in the fight against CVD in Scotland.”

The treatment should also help lower costs for the NHS, as they typically spend around £800m per year on CVD-related expenses. Amarin has been working with health boards across Scotland in an attempt to obtain inclusion and make Vazkepa available to as many patients as possible.

Scott Curley, Amarin’s UK & Ireland general manager, said: “The introduction of icosapent ethyl to the Scottish Healthcare System marks an important milestone in reducing CVD… Amarin is committed to working with the Scottish Health Board Formulary Committees to make this additional treatment option available to the appropriate patients with CVD as soon as possible.”

Rebecca Lee

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