FDA approves combination pill from Novartis to reduce heart failure deaths

Markets Associated Press

Government regulators have approved a new pill from Novartis to treat heart failure.

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The Food and Drug Administration approved the combination drug, Entresto, based on studies showing it reduced rates of heart-related death and hospitalization compared with older drugs.

More than 5 million Americans and more than 25 million people worldwide have heart failure, a disease that causes the heart to gradually lose its pumping power. It kills up to half of patients within five years, despite numerous generic pills and other treatments available.

It costs the global economy an estimated $108 billion annually, so prevention is a key goal for health care providers.

Entresto combines Novartis' off-patent, blood pressure treatment Diovan with a new drug that decreases certain heart-damaging proteins in the blood.