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Study Offers Little Support for an Old Drug (11 Aug 2014)

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Digoxin is one of the oldest drugs in the cardiovascular arsenal, derived from the foxglove plant and first described in the 18th century by William Withering. It is frequently used in patients with heart failure (HF) and with atrial fibrillation (AF). The few trials supporting its use were performed in HF patients before newer treatments…

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Cardiac Rehab for Heart Failure Patients: The CMS Is Convinced — Are You? (29 Jul 2014)

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Ileana Piña, MD, MPH and John Ryan, MD

John Ryan interviews Dr. Ileana Piña about her work in HF-ACTION as it relates to the CMS’s recent expansion of cardiac rehabilitation coverage.

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Behind the Patient Decision-Making Process for a Destination-Therapy LVAD (10 Jul 2014)

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Colleen Kelley McIlvennan, DNP, ANP, Larry Allen, MD, MHS, and Dan Matlock, MD, MPH

Colleen K. McIlvennan, Larry A. Allen, and Daniel D. Matlock discuss their study of how patients choose whether to get a left ventricular assist device as destination therapy.

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Sitagliptin Associated with Increase in Heart Failure Hospitalizations (3 Jul 2014)

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The cardiovascular effects of drugs used for glucose control in patients with diabetes have been a subject of controversy for many years now. More recently, attention has started to focus specifically on the risk for heart failure (HF). Now, an observational study will likely raise new questions about the dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-4 inhibitor sitagliptin (Januvia, Merck)….

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Positive Results for New Oral Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Drug (16 Jun 2014)

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Actelion has announced positive top-line results for a phase III trial of a new oral drug for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The drug, selexipag, is a first-in-class orally available selective prostacyclin IP receptor agonist. The pivotal, double-blind GRIPHON study was the largest outcome trial ever performed in PAH. A total of 1,156 PAH patients were randomized to selexipag or…

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European Medicines Agency Initiates Review of Ivabradine (16 Jun 2014)

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There may be trouble on the horizon for ivabradine, a heart drug marketed by Servier under the brand names of Corlentor and Procoralan. The drug is widely available in Europe and elsewhere, though it is not available in the U.S., where it is under development by Amgen. Although it hasn’t been widely reported,  the European…

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Prophylactic ICDs Appear Effective in Less Severe HF Patients (3 Jun 2014)

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Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators are routinely implanted in heart failure patients with ejection fractions of 35% and lower to prevent sudden cardiac death. However, the benefits in patients at the higher end of the spectrum — EFs between 30% and 35% — have not been well demonstrated in clinical trials, since few patients in this range have…

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FDA Turns Back Novel Drug for Acute Heart Failure (16 May 2014)

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Novartis said today that the FDA had issued a complete response letter for the biologics license application for RLX030. The drug, also known as serelaxin, is a recombinant form of the naturally occurring human hormone relaxin-2, which has been found to help women adjust to the cardiovascular changes that occur during pregnancy. The FDA decision was not unexpected since earlier…

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FDA Grants Fast Track Status to Ivabradine (17 Apr 2014)

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Amgen announced yesterday that its new chronic heart failure drug ivabradine had been granted fast track status by the FDA. The company said the fast track designation, which is for drugs that treat serious conditions and fill an unmet medical need, will aid the development and speed the review of the drug. The company said it planned to…

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Putting TOPCAT in Perspective (9 Apr 2014)

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Bertram Pitt, MD, Marc A. Pfeffer, MD, and Clyde Yancy, MD

TOPCAT investigators Bertram Pitt and Marc Pfeffer discuss the trial, and Clyde Yancy offers his analysis.