A drug proven to save the lives of thousands of patients with heart failure has been approved by European regulators.

Ivabradine, marketed as Procoralan by Servier Laboratories, can reduce the risk of death from heart failure by 39%, the risk of death from all types of cardiovascular disease by 17% and the risk of death from all causes by 17%, according to new research.

The trial, presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) meeting in Stockholm, also found that the drug was able reduce the need for patients to be treated in hospital for heart failure by 30%.

The drug has been approved by European regulators, but has yet to be assessed for widespread use on the UK’s National Health Service.

Consultant Cardiologist at the UK’s Royal Bromton Hospital and lead investigator on the study Professor Martin Cowie said, "This evidence represents a significant clinical breakthrough in the management of heart failure and is incredibly important information for patients with this condition.

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"We now know that more lives can be saved and improved simply by adding ivabradine to their current treatment in order to take some of the strain off the heart," Cowie added.

Ivabradine, which costs the NHS £1.40 per day, is already available in the UK for the treatment of stable angina.

The drug works by slowing down the beating of the heart, allowing it to pump blood through the body more effectively.


Caption: Credit: Procoralan has been shown to cut heart failure deaths by 39%. renjith krishnan