What are your proven facts

New insights into proven cardiovascular therapies

07/29/2019 - Nowadays, people with cardiovascular diseases are mainly treated with generics. These are copycat products from first-party products with the same active ingredients. The application and mode of action of the therapies are well documented. The consulting company IQVIA has proven in a report: Here too, health services research can “generate new findings and thus expand knowledge”.

Statins are used in the fight against high cholesterol levels. The first representative (in the USA) was approved in 1987 - others followed over the years. They were real innovations - and protected by patents. After all, they are the incentive for research investments.

Around 2003 these patents expired. Cheaper generics came on the market. This has "led to the fact that although the number of prescriptions has increased significantly, the corresponding sales have fallen sharply at the same time," writes the Institute for Health Economics (IfG) in a publication that was produced with the support of Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Generics make up 90 percent of cardiovascular therapy

According to IQVIA, generics now make up 90 percent of all cardiovascular therapeutics in terms of the quantity dispensed in the German pharmacy market (2018). “This is backed by a little more than 183 million packages.” The treatment of cardiovascular diseases is therefore mainly carried out with older products: “Over 70 percent of generic drugs were introduced in the period before or up to and including 2009, 28 percent between 2010 and 2009 2016 and almost 2 percent in the last two years. "

In this case, “old” means “tried and tested”. "The application and mode of action of available cardiovascular therapies is well documented, and there is a lot of knowledge about the various diseases and their conditioning factors," explains IQVIA. Nevertheless, the company's scientists wanted to gain further knowledge - the basis is provided by health services research.

Generate new insights with data from the real world

For example, they examined high-risk cardiovascular patients with elevated cholesterol levels (hypercholesterolemia) in more detail: The basis was anonymized treatment courses from general practitioners' practices. A group of around 50,000 patients each received high-dose statin therapy; the other, with around 50,000 patients, was given statins in different doses, "either without or in combination with another lipid regulator". The aim of the study was "to determine how many patients achieved or not achieved defined LDL cholesterol target values ​​in a study period of at least 12 months." Ultimately, the researchers came to the conclusion that the prevalence of high-risk cardiovascular patients with treatment-resistant hypercholesterolemia in Germany must be considerable. This result is among other things "significant with regard to future therapy strategies", according to IQVIA.

The study also shows how data from the “real world”, ie from everyday care, “can generate new findings on research issues even with proven medications and well-examined clinical pictures.” According to IQVIA, however, this does not mean that further drug research is “obsolete “Would be - on the contrary.

Cardiovascular: continue to do a lot of research

For example, research is currently being carried out in the area of ​​"Advanced Therapies":

These include gene and cell therapeutics as well as biotechnologically engineered tissue products. “According to IQVIA research, the proportion of drugs of this type in the cardiovascular area, the majority of which are still in development, is 5 percent. In addition to myocardial infarction, lipid metabolism disorders are one of the most important indications ”. Another area is gene therapy research or the search for genetic characteristics that favor cardiovascular diseases. “The researchers also want to track down the causes of congenital heart diseases,” writes the consulting firm.