Amarin on Jan. 13 announced the launch of True to Your Heart, a new educational campaign geared toward heart patients who remain at a persistent risk for CVD despite being treated with statins and other standard-of-care therapies.
The campaign was born from the results of a survey involving 255 primary care physicians and 243 cardiologists who regularly treat patients with persistent heart disease. The poll, conducted by research group APCO Insight, revealed that 60% of healthcare professionals (HCPs) believe that less than half of their patients with persistent CVD who are treated with statins realize that they’re still at risk for future cardiovascular events.
“The survey points to both a need and opportunity for more healthcare provider and patient education,” Craig Granowitz, MD, PhD, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Amarin, said in a statement. “Patients with cardiovascular disease who take statins are only lowering their risk of a life-threatening cardiovascular event by 25% to 35%, so while they have taken an important first step, they aren’t fully protected against persistent cardiovascular risk.”
The survey also found that while 93% of HCPs typically recommend prescription drugs as part of their treatment plan for patients with persistent CV risk, just half believe available treatment options are adequate to protect patients from future CV events. It also showed that many HCPs are behind on the latest evidence regarding cholesterol management, with many recommending or prescribing non-FDA-approved and potentially risky therapies for their patients. Fifty-five percent of HCPs surveyed admitted to prescribing their patients fenofibrates; 47% said they recommended fish oil supplements on top of statin therapy.
Fish oil—and dietary fish oil supplements, in particular—aren’t intended to treat CVD, according to Amarin, and haven’t been clinically proven as safe or effective for that purpose. Fenofibrates also haven’t been proven to reduce CV risk when paired with statins, and the FDA withdrew its approval to use the medications together in 2016.
“Unfortunately, some patients...turn to, or are being prescribed, unproven therapeutic options,” Granowitz said. “Through True to Your Heart, we aim to increase consumer awareness that they may be missing out on important cardiovascular risk protection, and hope to encourage everyone, from patients to doctors, to educate themselves so people can make the best health decisions to protect their hearts.”
For more information, visit the True to Your Heart site.