Drug ‘could stop deaths after heart attacks’

ONE in five deaths in the year following a heart attack could be prevented if a new drug was used instead of the standard treatment, a Sheffield professor told a conference on Monday.

The drug, ticagrelor, was more effective than clopidogrel, said Robert Storey, Professor of Cardiology at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Cardiovascular Science.

It was made available in the UK last December but has not yet been adopted across most of the UK due to the cost.

However, this is offset to some extent by its greater effectiveness, which reduces the need for heart operations.

Prof Storey, whose findings were presented at the British Cardiovascular Society scientific conference in Manchester, has led UK investigations of ticagrelor and was a member of the international committee that conducted a study of over 18,000 patients in more than 40 countries.

He said: “Many people are dying avoidably in the year after having a heart attack due to delays introducing this new treatment.”