BAGSHOT, England, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Over a third (34%)[1,2] of patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) are suffering from associated iron-deficient anaemia (IDA) which is not only exacerbating their condition but is also contributing to a poorer quality of life. In anticipation of European Heart Failure Awareness Day (6 May 2011), Vifor Pharma is taking the opportunity to raise awareness of IDA as a less-recognised and under-managed - yet treatable - side effect of heart failure.
Anaemia is characterised by a low blood count and means that the heart needs to work more efficiently to carry adequate oxygen around the body. Symptoms of anaemia including shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness and impairment of cognitive function, are similar to those of CHF and as heart failure progresses in patients, so does anaemia. In fact, anaemia complicating heart failure has been shown to be associated with a worse outcome for patients - and in community hospital admissions for heart failure, markers of anaemia were independently associated with an increased risk of death.
However, recent research demonstrates that repletion of iron in CHF patients improves cognitive, symptomatic, and exercise performance. The trial, FAIR HF (Ferinject Assessment in patients with IRon deficiency and chronic Heart Failure), which is the largest trial to date ever conducted to study the effects of anaemia in CHF, revealed that:
- 50% of CHF patients treated with Ferinject showed a significant improvement in their quality of life
- Patients receiving Ferinject(R) could walk 39 meters further than at baseline in a 6 minute walk test, compared to approximately 9 meters in the placebo group. The total difference between the patient group treated with Ferinject(R) and the placebo group was 35 meters at week 24
So, in conclusion the study shows that Ferinject is an I.V iron treatment that clearly reduces the day-to-day burden of symptoms such as fatigue, weakness and impaired physical function compared to placebo. However, despite the fact the medical profession accept that anaemia aggravates symptoms in patients with CHF, the condition is still frequently under-diagnosed and left untreated.
"There is no doubt that iron-deficient anaemia impacts the quality of life of CHF patients, preventing them from undertaking normal everyday activities such as walking which most people take for granted. Many CHF patients with associated IDA are not being diagnosed and treated efficiently and we are not currently optimising patients' outcome or their quality of life." comments Senthil Vel, Medical Director , Vifor Pharma UK Ltd.
European Heart Failure Awareness Day is a pan-European initiative designed to raise awareness of heart failure, including possible symptoms, the importance of an early and accurate diagnosis as well as receiving optimal treatment.
For full Ferinject(R) Specific Product Characteristics, please visit http://www.medicines.org.uk/EMC/searchresults.aspx?term=ferinject&searchtype=QuickSearch
(Due to the length of this URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field. Remove the space if one exists.)
For additional information about Vifor Pharma log onto: viforpharma.com
Notes to editors
Ferinject(R) is an innovative intravenous iron replacement product discovered and developed by Vifor Pharma. Ferric carboxymaltose, the active pharmaceutical ingredient of Ferinject(R), overcomes the unmet clinical needs of intravenous (I.V.) iron therapy as Ferinject(R) is not associated with dextran-induced hypersensitivity reactions since it is free of dextran and dextran derivatives, and it has a low potential for iron toxicity. Ferinject(R), in doses up to 1000 mg iron, can be administered in a 15 minute infusion in patients with iron deficiency associated with a variety of clinical conditions.
To date, Ferinject(R) has gained marketing authorisation in 30 countries within Europe as well as in South Korea, Argentina and Russia for the treatment of iron deficiency where oral iron is ineffective or cannot be used. In many countries, intravenous iron replacement products are primarily used to treat dialysis patients. However, iron deficiency is also a complication of many other illnesses representing an unmet medical need. Vifor Pharma is evaluating new opportunities in the treatment of iron deficiency with Ferinject(R) in different therapeutic areas. Trials with Ferinject(R) in chronic kidney disease (CKD), oncology (anaemia in cancer patients), gastroenterology (inflammatory bowel diseases) and gynaecology are ongoing or planned.
Vifor Pharma, the Pharma business sector of the Galenica Group, is involved in the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products, with focus on the treatment of iron deficiency, in which Vifor Pharma is one of the leading companies. It also conducts clinical studies for the application of medications for the treatment of various autoimmune diseases. Vifor Pharma also develops and manufactures prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) products, including products developed or sold under license, and markets them internationally. Vifor Pharma is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.
1. Witte KK, Desilva R, Chattopadhyay S, Ghosh J, Cleland JG, Clark AL. Are hematinic deficiencies the cause of anaemia in chronic heart failure? American Heart Journal 2004, 147(5):924-30
2. Victor Man-Fai Sim, Michael Chi Yuen Yuen Nam, Steve Riley, Zaheer Yousef, Joanna Hurley, Wai-yee Cheung, Sinead O'Mahony. Anaemia in older people with chronic heart failure: The potential cost. Journal Technology and Health Care Volume 17 Issue 5,6, December 2009
3. A J S Coats. Anaemia and heart failure. Heart. 2004 September; 90(9): 977-979
4. Stefan D. Anker, Josep Comin Colet, Gerasimos Filippatos, Ronnie Willenheimer, Kenneth Dickstein, Helmut Drexler, Thomas F. Lüscher, Boris Bart, Waldemar Banasiak, Joanna Niegowska, Bridget-Anne Kirwan, Claudio Mori, Barbara von Eisenhart Rothe, Stuart J. Pocock, Philip A. Poole-Wilson, Piotr Ponikowski. Ferric Carboxymaltose in Patients with Heart Failure and Iron Deficiency. N Engl J Med 2009; 361:2436-2448
5. Tang YD, Katz SD. Anemia in chronic heart failure: prevalence, etiology, clinical correlates, and treatment options. Circulation 2006;113:2454-61
SOURCE Vifor Pharma